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TTXDER the title of "Tales of the City of London," a series of volumes has 
^ been published, which, \vhile interesting and pleasing as works of fiction, 
will at the same time be found correct delineations of the manners, customs, and 
habits of the citizens of London at various periods of history. 

The Tales chiefly have connection witli the great City Companies, of which so 
many traces of wealth and liberality remain, and of one or other of which each 
citizen was in former times a member. 

The events of the Tales are laid in different periods, so that the whole com- 
prises a distinct and connected account (without repetitions) of the custom^§ 
and costume, the houses and the habits, and the modes of thought and action, of 
the London citizens from the time of the Plautagenets to that of the Stuarts. No 
pains have been spared to render these pictures accurate in every particular, and 
to each Tale are added a number of notes, historical and descriptive, elucidatory 
of the text ; and also an account of the particular Company to which the Tale refers 

Each Volume is complete in itself, and contains about six engravings, care- 
fully executed, in which the costume, architecture of each period, &c., are accurately 

This series is now complete, and will not le further extended. 




Handsomely printed in fcap 8vo, 160 pages, with Six Engravings. 

Ornamental Boards, Is. Cloth Gilt, Is. 6d 





Ornamental Boards, Is. Cloth Gilt, Is. Qd. 



















Patite to t|8t alchrate!) iiiglislj ©utlato. 

ROBIN hood's death. 





ail ftit amitnt ^o^ms, Songs, mH I5allaa» 





In this oiu- spacious isle I think there is not one, 
But he of ' Robin Hood hath heard ' and Little John ; 
And to the end of time the tales shall ne'er be done 
Of Scarlock, George a Green, and Much the miller's son. 
Of Tuck, the merry friar, which many a sermon made 
1^ praise of Robin Hood, his out-lavvs, and theii* trade. 






Joseph Ritsov, the author and compiler of "Robin Hood," was born on the 2nd of October, 1752, at 
8tockton-upon-Tee9, in the county of Durham. He was bred to the law, and practised as a Conveyancer in 
Cray's-Inn. In 1785 he purchased the ofi&ce of High Bailiff of the Liberties of the Savoy, which he retained 
to his death. His tastes led him to the study of antiquarian lore, which he prosecuted with imcommor 
industrj' and acuteness. In recovering dates, assigning anonjnnous fragiHcnts to their authors, and in all 
points where a minute accuracy can alone lead to success, he has perhaps few superiors ; but the unfortunate 
acerbity of his temper, which was strongly marked on features that, as it has been expressed, never appeared 
human except when he was poring over Gothic books, led him to criticise the labours of his most celebrated 
contemporaries, especially Warton, Percy, and Malone, with a virulence that had in it something of 
malignity. His style of writing was, like his temper, harsh and rugged, and is remarkable for an affected 
orthography, which, though perhaps in some points defensible, seems rather the result of caprice than 
judgment. In the present edition these peculiarities have, after due deliberation, been scrupulously retained, 
bO that we believe that could even Joseph Ritson himself arise from the dead, he would admit that we have 
done him justice. His peculiarities were not all adopted -without at least a show of reason, and as hia 
opinion may in some cases be regarded as of value, we determined to reprint the volume exactly as we found 
it. The only variations are the omission of two passages, which were marked by such extreme virulence and 
extravagance, one of them running into obscenity, that, as they had no relation to the subject in hand, but 
were mere ebullitions of personal and political feeling, we felt it right to expunge them: the other altera- 
tion is the substitution of glossarial foot-notes, with some additions, for the glossary appended to the original 

Ritson's conversation partook much of the harshness of his writings, and he did not scruple even to give the 
lie when engaged in dispute, although the subject had nothing in it to excite passion. His wretched temper 
seems also to have been exasperated by the state of public affairs, his hatred of the reigning family, and his 
attachment to republicanism. All his peculiarities may perhaps be traced to incipient insanity, which at 
length became so evident, as to render it necessary to place him in confinement. He was accordingly 
removed to a limatic asylum in Hoxton, where he died a few days after, on the 3rd of September, 1803. 

Besides " Robin Hood," which is one of his most valuable pieces, he published several other works, critical 
and antiquarian, which it is unnecessary here to enumerate. His last work was a " Treatise on Abstinence 
irom Animal Food," in which so many impious and extravagant sentiments were expressed that he could 
not for some time find a publisher. It appeared but a short time before his death, and can be regarded 
only as the offiipring of a diseased mind. 




THE LIFE OF ROBIN HOOD . . . '■ i . I 




THE SECONDE FYTTE . . ....... 38 


THE FOURTH FYTTE .....•-. 43 


THE SYXTE FYTTE . . • • « 48 

THE SEVENTH FYTTE ....'.:.•• 49 



[THE SECOND FIT] . . . . 55 





PART n.— 




AND JOHN . . . ib. 





Vin. ROBIN HOOD AND ALLIN «A* DALE ..-<>... 79 




I'AUT 11.— (lOMIMKD.* I'A«iK 


[PART THE SECOND] . . ;>4 




















I, THE PL A YE OF ROBYN HODE .... .... 106 


m. A ROUND . 110 







The singular circumstance, that the name of an out- 
lawed individual of the twelfth or thirteenth century 
should continue traditionally popular, be chanted in 
ballads, and, as one may say. 

Familiar in our month as household words, 
at the end of the eighteenth, excited the editor's curiosity 
to retrieve all the historical or poetical remains concern- 
ing him that could be met with : an object which he has 
occasionally pursued for many years ; and of whicli pur- 
suit he now publishes the result. He cannot, indeed, 
pretend that his researches, extensive as they must 
appear, have been attended with all the success he could 
bave wished ; but, at the same time, it ought to be acknow- 
ledged that many poetical pieces, of great antiquity and 
some merit, are deservedly rescued from oblivion. 

The materials collected for •' the life " of this celebrated 
character, which are either preserved at large, or care- 
fully referred to in the "notes and illustrations," are not, 
it must be confessed, in every instance, so important, so 
ancient, or, perhaps, so authentic, as tlie subject seems to 
demand ; although the compiler may be permitted to say, 
in bumble second-hand imitation of the poet Martial : 

Some there arc good, some middling^, and some bad ; 
But yet they were the best that could be had. 

Desirous to omit nothing that he could find upon the sub- 
ject, he has everywhere faithfully vouched and exhibited 
his authorities, such as they are: it would, therefor, 
seem altogether uncandid or unjust to make him respon- 
sible for the want of authenticity of such of them as may 
appear liable to that imputation. 

The justice or candour, however, which he has reason 
to expect from the professed critic, who is allowed to dictate 
or influence the public opinion, may be easily conceived ; 
since the author of an article in the Critical Review, for the 
month of January, 1792, who was necessaryly an entire 
stranger to the particular contents of this work, was 
pleased, by way of anticipation, it would seem, of his own' 
criticism, (too frequently exercised on subjects he is 
equally ignorant of,) to pronounce them " the refuse of a 
stall." To the impartial critic, whether hireling or volun- 
teer, who points out errors tliat might be corrected, and 
faults that might be remedyed— in a word, who, instead of 
abusing books for being what they are, shews what they 
should have been, an author or editor is not less, and 
perhaps even much more, indebted and obliged than the 
public at large; but, to adopt the words of the great 
Milton, one must always " abominat the censure ok 


^e Htfe of ^o1>in ?|ooa. 

IT will scarcely be expected that one should be 
able to offer an authentic narrative of the Hfe 
and transactions of this extraordinary personage. 
The times in which he lived, the mode of life he 
adopted, and the silence or loss of contemporary 
writers, are circumstances sufficiently favom-able 
indeed to roniance, but altogether inimical to 
historical truth. The I'eader must, therefor, be 
contented with such a detail, however scanty or 
imperfect, as a zealous pursuit of the subject 
enables one to give ; and which, though it may 
fail to satisfy, may possibly serve to amuse. No 
assistance has been dei'ived from the labours of 
his professed biographers (a) ; and even the in- 
dustrious Sir John Hawk ins, from whom the 
public might"" have expecfea" ample gratification 
upon the subject, acknowledges that " the history 
of this popular hero is but little known ; and all 
the scattered fragments concerning him, could 
they be brought together, would fall far short of 
satisfying such an enquirer as none but real and 
authenticated facts will content. We must," he 
says, "take his story as we find it.'' He accord- 
ingly gives us nothing but two or three ti-ite and 
trivial extracts, with which every one, at all 

curious about the subject, was as well acquainted 
as himself. It is not, at the same time, pretended 
that the present attempt promises more than to 
brmg together the scattered fragments to whicli 
the learned historian alludes. This, however, has 
been done according to the best of the compiler's 
information and abilities ; and the result is, with 
a due sense of the deficiency of both, submitted to 
the reader's candour. 

Robin Hood was born at Locksley, in the county 
of Nottingham (a), in the reign of King Henry the 
Second, and about the year of Christ 1160 (b). 
His extraction was noble, and his true name 
IBiPBERT FiTzooTH, wliich vulgar pronunciation 
easyly corrupted into Robin Hood (c). He is fre- 
quently styled, and commonly reputed to have 
been. Earl of Huntingdon ; a title to which, in 
the latter part of his life at least, he actual!}' 
appears to have had some sort of pretension (d). 
In his youth he is reported to have been of a wild 
and extravagant disposition, insomuch that, his 
inheritance being consumed or forfeited by his 
excesses, and his person outlawed for debt, either 
from necessity or choice he sought an asylum in 


t the woods aiid forests, with which immense ti*acts, 

especially iii the northern parts of the kingdom, 

were at that time covered (k). Of these he chiefly 

affected Barnsdale, in Yorkshire ; Shenvopd, in 

i Nottinghamshii-e ; and, according to some, Ploni£- 

j ton-park, in Cumberland (f). Here he cTtTicr 

i found, or was afterwards joined by, a numljcr of 

I persons in similar circumstances ; 

" Such as the fury of ungovern'd youth 
Tlirust from the company of awful men " ( *k i ; 
j who appear to have considered and obeyed hhn 
I as their chief or leader, and of whom his principal 
! favourites, or those in whose courage and fidelity 
I he most confided, wcro Littlk John (whose sur- 
j ' name is said to have been Nailor), William 
\ ScADLOCK (Scathelock, or Scarlet), Georgk a 
i Green, pindor (or pound-keeper), of Wakefield, 
: Much, a miller's son, and a certain monk or frier, 
: named Tuck (g). He is likewise said to have been 
accompanycd in his retreat by a female, of whom 
i he was enamoured, and whose real or adopted 
I name was Marian (h). 

j His company, in process of time, consisted of 
j a hundred archers ; ' men,' says Major, ' most 

I skilful in battle, whom four times that numb'^r of 
the boldest fellows durst not attack (i).' His 
manner of recruiting was somewhat singular ; 
for, in the words of an old writer, " whersoevcr 
he hard of any that were of unusual strength 
and ' hardiues,' he would dcsgyse himselfe, and, ! 
rather then fayle, go lyke a jjegger to become i 
acquaynted witli them ; and, after he had tryed 
them with fvghting ; never give them over tyl he j 
had used means to di-awc [them] to lyve after his 
fashion" (.1) : a practice of Avhieli numerous in- 
stances are recorded in the more common and 

1/ popular songs, where, indeed, he seldom fails to 

" receive a sound beating. In shooting with the 

long bow, which they chiefly prnetised, " they 

excelled all the men of the land ; though, as occa- 

tion required, they had also other weapons" (k). 

i In these forests, and with this company, he for 

' / many years reigned like an indei)endcnt sovereign; 

4 at perpetual war, indeed, with the king of Eng- 

I I land and all liis subjects, with an exception, how- 
-cver, of the poor and needy, and such as were 

" desolate and oppressed," or stood in need of his 
j)rotection. When molested by a sui)crior force 
in one place, he retired to another, still defying 
the power of what was called law and government, 
and making his enemies pay dcnrly, as well for 
their open attacks, as for their clandestine trea- 
chery. It is not, at the same time, to be concluded 
that he must, in this op|)osition, have Ijeen guilty 
I of manifest treason or rebellion, as he most cer- 
tainly can )n! justly charged with neither. An 
outlaw, ill those times, being deprived of ])rotec- 
tion, owed no allegiance: " his hand ' was' against 
every man, and every man's han<l against him" (l). 
These forests, in short, were his tiM-ritories ; those 
whoaccom))anyed and adhered to him, his subjects: 
The woihl was not IiIm friend, nor tlio world's law ; 
jand what better title king Kichard cmdd ])retend 
Ito tin; territory an<l i)eopl(; of England, than J{ol)in 
jHood had to the dominion of Uarnsdale or Sher- 
rwood, is a (|uesti(.n linni))ly submitted to the eon- 
fiidenition of the jtolitieal philosopher. The deer 
with which the royal forests th(>n abounded (every 
Norman tyrant b(>ing, like Nimrod, "a mighty 

hunter before the Lord") would afi'ord our liero 
and his companions an ample supply of food 
throughout the year ; and of fuel, for dressing 
their venison, or for the other purposes of life, 
they could evidently be in no want. The rest of 
their necessaries would be easyly procured, partly 
by taking what they had occasion for from the 
wealthy passenger who traversed or approached 
their territoi'ies, and partly by commerce with the 
neighhonring villages or great towns. It may bo 
readyly imagined that such a life, during great 
part of the year, at least, and while it continued 
free from the alai*ms or apprehensions to which 
our forestiers, one would suppose, must have been 
too frequently subject, might be sufficiently plea- 
sant and desireable, and even deserve the compli- 
ment which is payed to it by Shakspeare, in his 
comedy of As you like it, (Act 1. scene 1.,) where, 
on Olivers asking " Where will the old duke live !" 
Charles answers, " They say he is already in the 
forest of Ardcn, and a many merry men with him; 
and there they live like the old Robin Hood ok 
England ',..'. and fleet the time carelessly as 
they did in the golden world." Their gallant chief, 
indeed, may be presumed to have frequently ex- 
claimed with the banished Valentine, in another 
play of the same author ' : 

" How use doth hrecd a habit in a man ! 
This shadowy desert, unfrequcuted woods, 
I better brook than flourishing peopled towns . 
Here can I sit alone, unseen of auy. 
And, to tlie nightingale's complaining notes, 
Tune my distresses, and record my woes." 

He would, doubtless, too often find occasion to add : 
" "What hallooing and what stir is this to-day? 
Tiiesc are my mates, that make their wills their law. 
Have some imhappy )>assengcr in chacc: 
'Jhcy love mc well ; yet 1 have much to do 
To keep them from uncivil outrages." 

But, on the other hand, it will be at once difliculfc 
and painful to conceive, 

'V^"hcn they did hear 

The rain and wind beat dark December, how, 
In that their pinching cave, they could discourse 
Tiie freezing hours away ! (im) 

Their mode of life, in short, and domestic economy, 
of which no authentic particulars have been even 
traditionally preserved, ai'c more easyly to bo 
guessed at than described. They have, neverthe- 
less, been elegantly sketched by the animating 
pencil of an excellent, though neglected poet : 

" Tlic merry pranks he i)lay'd, would ask an age to tell, 
And the adventures strange that Kobin Hood befell. 
When ]MansHeld many a time for Robin hath been laid. 
How he hath eouscu'd tliem, that him would have betray'd; 
How often he hath eome to IS'ottingham disguis'd, 
And cunningly cscajj'd, being set to be surpriz'd. 
In this our si)aeious isle, I think there is not one, 
IJut he hath heard some talk of him and little John ; 
And to the end of time, the tales shall ne'er bo done, ~ 
Of Seiirloek, (leorge a Green, and Much the miller's son. 
Of Tuek the merry friar, whieh many a sermon made 
In jiraise of Robin Hood, his outlaws, and their trade. 
An htmdred valiant men had this brave Robin Hood, 
^Still ready at his call, that bow-men were right good. 
All clad in Lineiiln green (n), with c aj)S of red and blue. 
His fellow's winded horn not (me of them but knew, 
When setting to their lips their little beuglcs shrill, 
'J'he warbling eeehos wak'd from every dale and hill. 

' The Ticu G'cnlUntcii of Verona, act v. scene iv. 



Their bauldricks set with studs, athwart their shoulderscast. 
To which, under their arms, their sheafs were buckled fast, 
A short sword at their belt, a buckler scarce a span, 
"Who struck below tlie knee, not counted then a man : 
All made of Spanish yew, their bows were wondrous strong ; 
They not an arrow drew, but ^Aas a cloth-yard long. 
Of archery they had tlie very perfect craft, 
With broad-arrow, or but, or prick, or roving shaft, 
At marks full forty score, they us'd to prick and rove. 
Yet higher than the breast, for compass never strove ; 
Yet at the farthest mark a foot could hardly win : 
At long-outs, short, and hoyles, each one could cleave the 
Their arrows finely pair'd, for timber and for feather, [pin : 
With birch and brazil piec'd, to fly in any weather; 
A-nd shot they Avith the round, the square, or forked pile, 
The loose gave such a twang, as might be heard a mile. 
And of these archers brave, there was not any one, 
But he could kill a deer his swiftest speed upon, 
Which they did boil and roast, in many a mighty wood. 
Sharp liimger the fine sauce to their more kingly food. 
Then taking tb*"**^ to rest, his merry men and he 
Slept many a summer's night under the greeuAvood tree. 
From wealthy abbots chests, and churls abundant store, 
What oftentimes he took, he shar'd amongst the poor : 
No lordly bishop came in lusty Robin's way, 
To him, before he went, but for his pass must pay: 
The widow in distress he graciously reliev'd, 
And remedied the wrongs of many a virgin griev'd : 
He from the husband's bed no married Avoman Avan, 
But to his mistress dear, his loved Marian, 
Was ever constant luiown, Avhich, Avheresoe'er she came. 
Was sovereign of the woods ; chief lady of the game : 
Her clothes tuck'd to the knee, and dainty braided hair, 
With bow and quiver arm'd, she wander'd here and there 
Amongst the forests wild ; Diana never knew 
Such pleasures, nor such harts as Mariana slew ' ." 

That our hei'o aud his companions, while they 
lived in the Avoods, had recourse to robbery for 
their better support, is neither to be concealed nor 
to be denyed. Testimonies to this purpose, indeed, 
Avould be equally endless and unnecessary. Fordun, 
in the fourteenth century, calls him, " ille famo- 
sissimus siccarius" that most celebrated robber ; 
and Major terms him and Little John, ^'^famu- 
tissimi latrones." But it is to be remembered, 
according to the confession of the latter historian, 
that in these exertions of poAver, he took aA\'ay the 
goods of rich men only ; never killing any person, 
unless he Avas attacked or resisted : that he Avould 
not suffer a Avoman to be maltreated ; nor ever 
took anything from the pool', but chai'itably fed 
them Avith the Avealth he drcAv from the abbots. 
* I disapproA^e,' says he, ' of the rapine of the 
man ; but he was tlie most humane and the prince 
of all robbers (o).' In allusion, no doubt, to this 
irregular and predatory course of life, he has 
had the honour to be compared to the illustrious 
Wallace, the champion and deliverer of his coun- 
try ; and that, it is not a little remarkable, in the 
Iattei''s OAvn time (p). 

Our hero, indeed, seems to have held bishops, 
abbots, priests, and monks, — in a Avord, all the 
clergy, regular or secular, — in decided aversion. 

" These byshoppes and thyse archebyshoppes. 
Ye shall them bete and bynde," 

was an injunction carefully impressed upon his 
foUoAvers : and, in this part of his conduct, per- 
haps, the pride, avarice, uncharitableness, and hy- 
pocrisy, of these clerical drones, or pious locusts, 
will afford him ample justification. The abbot of 
Saint Marys, in York (q), from some unknoAvn 
I Dray tons Polyolbion, song sxvi. 

cause, appears to have been distinguished by par- 
ticular animosity ; and the sheriff of Nottingham- 
shire (r), Avho may have been too active and offi- 
cious in his endeavours to apprehend him, was tho 
unremitted object of his vengeance. 

NotAvithstanding, hoAvever, the aversion in which 
he appears to liaA^e held the clergy of every de- 
nomination, he Avas a man of exemplary piety, 
according to the notions of that age, and retauaed 
a domestic chaplain (Friar Tuck, no doubt) for 
the diurnal celebration of the divine mysteries. 
This we learn from an anecdote preserved by 
Fordun, as an instance of those actions which the 
historian allows to deserve commendation. One 
day, as he heard mass, Avhich he Avas most devoutly 
accustomed to do, (nor Avould he, in Avhatever 
necessity, suffer the office to be interrupted,) he 
Avas espyed by a certain sherif aud officers belong- 
ing to the king, Avho had fi-equently before mo- 
lested him, in that most secret recess of the Avood 
Avhere he Avas at mass. Some of his people, Avho 
perceived what Avas going forAvard, adAdsed liim 
to fly Avith all speed, which, out of reverence to 
the sacrament, Avhich he was then most devoutly 
worshiping, he absolutely refused to do. But the 
rest of his men having fled for fear of death, 
Robin, confiding solely in Him whom he reve- 
rently Avorshiped, Avith a very few, Avho by chance 
Avere pi*esent, set upon his enemies, whom he 
easyly vanquished ; and, being enriched Avith their 
spoils and ransom, he alAvays held the ministers of 
the church and masses in greater veneration ever 
after, mindful of Avhat is vulgarly said ; 

" Him god does surely hear 

Who oft to th' mass gives ear (s)." 

They Avho deride the miracles of Moses or Ma- 
homet are at full liberty, no doubt, to reject those 
Avrought in favour of Robin Hood ; but, as a 
certain admirable author expresses himself, " an 
honest man, and of good judgment, believeth still 
Avhat is told him, and that Avhich he finds 

Having, for a long series of years, maintained a 
sort of independent sove^ignty, and set kings, 
judges, and magistrates at defiance, a pi'oclama- 
tion Avas published, offering a considerable reward 
for bringing him in either dead or alive ; which, 
hoAvever, seems to have been productive of no 
greater success than former attempts for that 
purpose (t). At length, the infirmities of old age 
increasing upon him, and desirous to be relieved, 
in a fit of sickness, by being let blood, he applyed 
for that pui'pose to the prioress of Kirkleys-nun- 
nery, in Yorkshire, his relation, (women, and par- 
ticularly rehgious Avomen, being, in those times, 
someAvhat better skilled in surgery than the sex is 
at present,) by Avhom he Avas treacherously suf- 
fered to bleed to death. This event happened on 
the 18th of November, 1247, being the thirty-first 
year of King Henry III., and (if the date assigned 
to his birth be correct) about the 87th of his 
age (u). He was intered under some trees, at 
a short distance from the house j a stone being 
placed over his grave, with an inscription to his 
memory (v). 

Such Avas the end of Robin Hood : a man Avho, 
in a barbarous age, and under a complicated 
tyranny, displayed a spirit of freedom and inde- 
pendence, Avhich has endeared him to the common 


people, whose cause he maintained, (for all opposi- 
tion to tyi-anny is the cause of the people) ; and, 
in spile of the malicious endeavours of pitiful 
monks, by whom history was couseci-atcd to the 
crimes and follies of titled i-uffians and sainted 
idiots, to suppress all record of his patriotic exer- 
tions and virtuous acts, will render his name 

" Dumjupa montis aper,fuvios dnm piscis amabit, 
Dumque thymo pascentur apes, dum rorc cicadce, 
Semper honot, nomenque luum, laudesque manebunt." 

With respect to his pei-sonal character : it is 
sufficiently evident that he was active, brave, 
prudent, patient ; possessed of uncommon bodyly 
strength, and considerable military skill ; just, 
generous, benevolent, faithful, and beloved or 
revered by his followers or adherents for his 
excellent and amiable qualities. Fordun, a priest, 
extols his piety ; and piety, by a priest, is re- 
garded as the perfection of virtue. Major (as we 
liave seen) pronounces him the most humane and 
the prince of all robbers ; and Camden, whose testi- 
mony is of some weight, calls him " prcedonem 
viitinsimiim" the gentlest of thieves. As proofs 
of his universal and singular popularity: his story 
and exploits^ have been made the subject as well 
of various dramatic exhibitions (w) as of innume- 
rable poems, rimes, songs, and ballads (x). He 
lias given rise to divei-s proverbs (y) ; and to 
swear by him, or some of his companions, appears 
to have been a usual practice (z). His songs have 
been preferred, on the most solemn occasions, not 
only to the Psalms of David, but to the New 
Testament (aa) ; his service to the word of 
God (bb). He may be regarded as the patron of 

archery (cc) ; and, though not actually canonized, 
(a situation to which the miracles wrought in his 
favour, as well in his lifetime jus after his death, 
and the supernatural powers he is, in some i)arts, 
supposed to have possesseil (dd), give him an in- 
disputable claim), he oljtained the principal dis- 
tinction of sainthood in having a festival allotted 
to him, and solemn games instituted in honour of 
his memory, which were celebrated till the latter 
end of the sixteenth century ; not by the populace 
only, but by kings or princes and grave magis- 
trates; and that as well in Scotland as in England ; 
being considered, in the former country, of the 
highest political importance, and essential to the 
civil and religious liberties of the people, the 
efforts of government to suppress them frequently 
producing tumult and insurrection (ee). His bow, 
and one of his arrows, his chair, his cap, and one 
of his slippers, were pi*eserved, with peculiar vene- 
ration, till within the present century (ff) ; and 
not only places which afforded him' security or 
amusement, but even the well at which he 
quenched his thirst, still retain his name (gg) ; a 
name which, in the middle of the present century, 
was conferi'ed, as an honourable distinction, upon 
the prime minister to the king of Madagas- 
car (hh). 

After his death his company was dispersed (ii). 
History is silent in particulars : all that we can, 
thei'efor, learn is, that the honour of Little 
John's death and burial is contended for by rival 
nations (jj) ; that his grave continued long " cele- 
brous for the yielding of excellent whetstones ;" 
and that some of his descendants, of the name of 
Nailor, which he himself bore, and they from him, 
were in being so late as the last century (kk). 



(a) " Professed biogmpliers, ^fc."] Such, that is, 
as liave already appeared in j)nnt, since a sort of 
manugcript life in the Sloano library will appear to 
liave been of some service. The first of these re- 
spectable personages is the author, or rather com- 
piler, of " The noble birth and gallant atchievements 
of that remarkable outlaw Robin Hood; together with 
a true account of tlie many merry extravagant ex- 
ploits he played ; in twelve several stories : newly 
collected by an inpoiiiouH antiquary. Ijoiidon, printed 
by W. O." [William Oidey.] 4to, black letter, no 
«late. These " several btories," in fact, arc only so 
many of the songs in the common Garland tmns- 
posed ; and the "ingenious antiqiuiry," who strung 
them together, hiLS known so little of his trade, titat 
he sets out with infonning us of his heros banis^hnient 
by king Hein-y the eighth. The above is supposed 
to bo "the small merry book" called Robin Hood, 
mentioned in a list of " books, ballads, and historios, 
printed for and sold by William Thackeniy at the 
Angel in Duck-lane.'" (about 1G80,) preserved in one 
of the volumes of old ballads (part of Dagfords col- 
leetion) in the Britisli museum. 

Anotlier j)iece of biography, from which much will 

not he expected, is, " The lives and heroiek atchieve- 
ments of the renowned Robin Hood, and James Hind, 
two noted robbere and highwaymen. Lmidon, 175*2," 
8vo. This, however, is probably nothing more than 
an extract from Johnsons Lixies of the hiyhwayvien. 
in which, as a specimen of the authoi"? historical 
authenticity, wo have the life and actions of that 
noted robber, sir .Tohn Falstaff. 

The principal if not sole reason why our hero is 
never once mentioned by Matthew Paris, Benedictiis 
abbas, or any other ancient English historian, was 
most probably his avowed enmity to .-.hurchmen ; and 
history, in former times, was wvit^jcn by none but 
monks. From the same motives that Josephus is 
))r(lended to have suppressed all mention of Jesus 
('hrist, they were unwilling to praise the actions which 
they durst neither misrepi-csent nor deny. Fordun 
and Major, however, being foreignci-s, have not been 
deterred by this professional spirit from rendering 
homage to his virtues. 

(a) " — was horn at Lockslcy in the county of Not- 
tingham."] "Robin Hood," says a MS. in the 
British Museum, (Bib. Sloan. 715,) written, .as it 


eeerns, toward the end of the sixteenth century, " was 
borne at Lockesley in Yorkshyre, or after others in 
Notinghamshire." The writer here labours under 
manifest ignorance and confusion, but the first row of 
the rubric will set him right : 

" In Locksly town, in merry Nottinghamshire, 

In merry sweet Locksly town, 
There bold Robin Hood was born and was bred, 

Bold Robin of famous renown." i 

Dr. Fuller {Worthies of England, 1662, p. 320.) 
is doubtful a,s to the place of his nativity. Speaking 
of the " Memorable Persons" of Nottinghamshire, 
" Robert Hood," says he, " (if not by birth) by his 

I chief abode this country-man." 

I The name of such a town as Locksley, or Loxley 

(for so we sometimes find it spelled), in the county of 
Nottingham or of York, does not, it must be confessed, 
occur either in sir Henry Spelmans Villare Angli- 
cum, in Adams's Index villaris, in Whatleys En- 
plands gazetteer, ^ in Thorotons History of Not- 
tinghamshire, or in the Nomina villarum Ebora- 
cp.nsium (York, 1768, 8vo). The silence of these 
authorities is not, however, to be regarded as a con- 
clusive proof that such a place never existed. The 
names of towns and villages, of wluch no trace is now 
to be found but in ancient writings, would fill a volume. 

(b) — " in the reign of king Henry the second, and 
about the year of Christ 1160.] "Robin Hood," 
according to the Sloane MS., " was borne ... in the 
dayes of Henry the 2nd, about the yeare 1160." This 
was the 6th year of that monarch ; at whose death 
{anno 1189) he would, of course, be about 29 years 
of age. Those wiiters are therefor pretty correct who 
represent him as playing his pranks (Dr. Fullers 
phrase) in the reign of king Richard the first, and, 
according to the last named author, " about the year 
of our lord 1200." 3 Thus Major (who is followed 
by Stowe, Annates 1592, p. 227,) " Circa hcec 
tempora [^sci. Ricardi Z.] ut aunuror, &c." A MS. 
note in the Museum {Bib. Har. 1233), not, in Mr. 
Wanleys opinion, to be relyed on, places him in the 
same period, " Temp. Rich. I." Nor is Fordun 
altogether out of his reckoning in bringing him down 
to the time of Henry III. as we shall hereafter see; 
and with him agi-ees that " noble clerke maister Hector 
Boece," who in the nintieeth chapter of his " threttene 
buke," says, " About this tyme was that waithman 
Robert Hode with his fallow litil Johne, &c." {Hys- 
tory of Scotland, Edin. 1541. fo.) A modern writer, 
{History of Whitby, by I/Ionel Charlton, York, 
1779, 4to.) though of no authority in this point, has 
done well enough to speak of him as li^ing " in the 
days of abbot Richard and Peter his successor;" that 
is, between the years 1176 and 1211. The author of 
the two plays upon the story of our hero, of which a 
particular account will be hereafter given, makes him 
contemporary with king Richard, who, as well as his 
brother prince John, is introduced upon the scene ; 
I which is confirmed by another play, quoted in note 
I (d). Warner, also, in his Albions England, 1602. 
p. 132. refers his existence to " better daies, first 
Richards dales." This, to be sure, may not be such 

1 See part II. ballad). 

2 All three mention a Loxley in Warwickshire, arid 
another in Staffordshire ("near Need wood-forest, the 
manor and seat of the Kinardsleys"). 

^ It is 1100 in the original, but that is clearly an error 
'>f the press. 

evidence as would be suflScient to decide the point in 
a court of justice ; but neither judge nor counsel will 
dispute the authority of that oracle of the law, sir 
Edward Coke, who pronounces that " This Robert 
Hood lived in the reign of king R. I." {Z Institute, 197.) 
We must not, therefore, regard what is said by such 
writers as the author of " George a Greene, the pinner 
of Wakefield," 1599, (see note(G) who represents our 
hero as contemporary with king Edward IV. and the 
compiler of a foolish book called " The noble birth, 
&c. of Robin Hood," (see note (a) who commences 
it by infonning us of his banishment by king Henry 
VIII. As well indeed might we suppose him to have 
lived before the time of Charlemagne, because sir 
John Harrington, in his translation of the Orlando 
furioso, 1590. p. 391. has made 

'* Duke 'Ammon in great wrath thus wise 'to' speake, 
This is a tale indeed o/ Robin Hood, 
Which to beleeve, might show my wits but weake :" 

or to imagine his story must have been familiar to 
Plutarch, because in his Morals, translated by Dr. 
Philemon Holland, 1603, p. 644. we read the follow- 
ing passage : " Even so [i. e. as the crane and fox 
serve each other in jEsop], when learned men at a 
table plunge and drowne themselves (as it were) in 
subtile problemes and questions interlaced with logicke, 
which the vulgar sort are not able for their lives to 
comprehend and conceive ; whiles they also againe for 
their part come in with their foolish songs, and vain 
ballads of Robin-hood and Little John, telling tales 
of a tubbe, or of a roasted horse, and such like." 
In a word, if Ave are to credit translators, he must 
have existed before the siege of Troy : for thus, ac- 
cording to one of Homers : 

*' Then came a choice companion 
Of Robin Hood and Little John, 
Who many a buck and many a doe, 
In Sherwood forest, with his bow, 
Had nabb'd ; believe me it is true, sir. 
The fellows Christian name was Teucer." 

Iliad, by Bridges, 4to, p. 231. 

Thus likewise, in a much earlier translation of the same 
immortal bard (Homer a la mode, 1664), we read of 

— " gi-eate Apollo who's as good 

At pricks and butts as Robin Hood." 

This last supposition indeed, has even the respectable 
countenance of dan Geoffrey Chaucer : 

" Pandarus answerde, it may be well inough. 
And held with him of all that ever he saied. 
But in his hart he thought, and soft lough. 
And to himselfe full soberly he saied. 
From haselhvood there jolly Robin plaied,. 
Shall come all that thou abidest here. 
Ye, farewell all the snow of feme yere." 

Teoilus (B. 5.) Speghts edition, 1602. 

(c) " His extraction was noble, and his true name 
Robert Fitzooth."] In " an olde and auncient 
pamphlet," which Grafton the chronicler had seen, it 
was Avritten that " This man discended of a noble 
parentage." The Sloane MS. says, " He was of 

parentage;" and though the material word 

is illegible, the sense evidently requires noble. So, 
likewise, the Harleian note : " It is said that he was 
of noble blood." Leland also has expressly termed 
him " nobilisJ" {Collectanea, I. 54.) The follow- 
ing account of his family will be found suiEciently 
particular. Ralph Fitzothes or Fitzooth, a Nonnaiu 



who had come over to KiigKincl with William ttufiis, 
iiiaineil Maii.l or Matilda, daughter of Gilbert dc 
Gaunt, earl of Kynie and Lindsey, by whom he had 
t'.ro sons : Philip, afierward carl of Kyme, that carl- 
I dom being ])art of his mothers dowry, and William. 
■ Philip the elder dyed without isstie ; "\\'illiam was a 
ward to Robert de Verc earl of Oxford, in whose 
household he received his education, and who, by the 
kings express command, gave him in marriage to his 
J own niece, the youngest of the three daughters of the 
j celebrated lady Iloisia dc Vere, daughter of Aubrey de 
! Vere, eail of Guisnes in Normandy, and lord high 
chamberlain of England under Henry I. and of 
Adeli/a, daughter to Richard de Clare, carl of Clarence 
and Hertford, by Payn dc Beauchauip baron of Bed- 
ford, her second husband. The offspring of this mar- 
liagc was, our hero, Robert Fitzooth, commonly 
called Robin Hood. (See Stukelcys Palceoyraphia 
Britannica, No. I. passim.) 

A writer in the Gentlewans rnayazine, for March, 
1793, under the signature D. H. pretends that Hood 
is only a corruption of " o' th' wood, q. d. of Sher- 
icood.'''' This, to be sure, is an absurd conceit ; but, 
if the name were a matter of conjecture, it might be 
probably enough referred to some particular sort of 
hood our hero wore by way of distinction or disguise 
See Scots Discoverie of witchcraft, 1584, p. 522. It 
is unnecessary to add that Hood is a common sur- 
name at this day. 

(d) *' He is frequently stiled . . earl of Hunt- 
ingdon, a title to winch, for the latter part of his life 
at least, he actually appears to have had some sort of 
pretension."] In Graftons " olde and auncient pam- 
phlet," though the author had, as already noticed, 
said "this man discended of a noble parentage," he 
adds, " or rather beyng of a base stocke and linage, 
was for his manhood and chivalry advaunccd to the 
noble dignitic of an eric." 

In the MS. note {Bib. Har. 1233) is the follow- 
ing passage : "■ It is said that he was of noble blood 
no Icsse then au carle." Warner, in his Albions 
England, already cited, calls liim "a coimty." The 
titles of Mundys two plays are: "The downfall," 
and " The death of Robert farle of Huntington." 
He is likewise introduced in that character in the 
same authors Metropolis coronafa, hereafter cited. 
In his epitaph we sliall find him expressly stiled 
" Robert karl of Huntingtun." 

In " A pleasant commodie called Looke about 
you^^ printed in IGOO, our hero is introduced, and 
perfoims a principal character. He is represented as 
the young earl of Huntington, and in ward to prince 
Richard, though his broliu-r Henry, the young king, 
complains of his having "^ had wrong about his ward- 
ship." He is described as 

" A gallant youth, a proper gentleman ;" 

and is sometimcB called "pretty carle," and " little wag." 

•' Fau. Hut welcome, welcome, and young TIiN'TiNMiTdv, 
bweet HoovN IIudk, litmorH best llowiuj; bloouic." 

*' an honourable youth, 

Vcrtuousand modest, Iluntingtons right lieyre." 

And it is said that 

" Jlit father fSfi.nKiiT was the smootlist fao't lord 
That ere baie iiniu's in I'.nnland or in rraunce." 

In one scene, "Enter Rich.ird and Robert willi coronets." 
•• Jiich. Kichard the prince of Kutjiaud, with his word, 

The noble Robkkt Hood, karlk llr.vrr.vGxo.v, 
Present their scrvic-o to youi- majestic." 

Dr. Percys objection, that the most ancient poems 
make no mention of this earldom, but only call him 
a vcoman, will be considered in another place. How 
he foiinded his pretensions to this title will be seen in 
iiis pedigree. Here it is. 

" The pedigree of Robin Hood earl of Huntington. 

Rii-h.-ird Fit/-::^Roi»ia 

({ilbert de 

Clarf, e.irl iif 


W'altheof, earl of: 
and Huntin^jton. 

:Jiidith, countf88 
of Huntingdon, 
the Conqueror's 

Simon dc S. :=::M:tud. 
lis I., earl of 1 

Northiimp- | 

ton and I 

Huntingdon. | 


iPavia /., 

kinjr of 


eiirl of 



Her.rv. earl of= 

=: Ada, 



daughtiT 1 

land and 


. Huntingdon. 

William. 1 


earl of Gilbert d,'=zKoi 


Warren. (iaunt, 
earl ot 




Simon S. lis=:I«al.el, dauffh- 


H., earl of 

ter of Robert 


to(i and 

Bossu, earl of 

came in 


with the 







Walter de Gaunt, 

Malcolm IV., 

earl of Lindser. 

king of Scots, 


earl of 

Gllbeit = Avis 


de Gaunt, 1 



earl of 

and heir 




, ' 





carl of 

earl of 


II. ! 



Ralph Fitzooth.=:M«'tt4. 

Simon S. lis III.,r:=:.\liio, lii-ir...s, a Norman. 

earl of 

lord 01 



ob. s. p. lUtl. 

Philip Fitzooth. 


lord of Kymo. 

David, earl of 

ob. s. p, 

• Carrick' and 

fon of Henry IV 


(above) earl. 

William Flts:ooth,=r a daughter 

and of Ada, 

brought up bv 

of Payn 

ob. laiii. 

Robert, earl ol 





l.^dy Roisia 

.lohn, Mirnamud 

de Verc. 

Soot, hi« Don, 

earl of Angus 



ob. ». p. IL'MT 


commonlv lallod Uohin Hood, 

prttendod earl of Huntingt 

jn, ob. 1274 [1247]." • 

• Stukelev" Paliro/^raphia Ilritannica, No. II. p. 115. In an inter' 
leaved copy of Hobin Uomlt garland formerly belonging to Dr. Stulte- 
l«y, and now in the posfsesi'ion of Francis Douce esquire, opposiiit 
the Ud pa^u ol the l8t rong, ix the following note in his own hand; 
" Guy earl of 'WHrwick. 

Geiirge (iamwell .Tn-innn 

of Gainwull U.iU ma^'iiu I Fit/ Odoth 

r -" 

Iwobin Fit/. Odoih 
Gauiwi'll the king's toroiler in Vorh^hire. 
nieniioiied in Camden. 

See my anKuer No. II. of Lady Roisia, 
where iM'Roliin HiKid.< T»ii« pbukibkk." 
'I'he doctor leeuiii, hv thin pedigree, to liave fotinded our heros 
jiieienoioH'on bin dencent fiom Roifia, »i^ter of Robert Fitzgilberi, 
hutbiind of .Alice, youngeiit daughter of Judith countesc of Hunting 



(e) " In his youth he is reported to have hecn of 
fi wild and extravagant disposition, ^c."'] Grafton s 
])amphlet, after supposing him to have been " advaunced 
to the noble dignitie of an erle," continued thus : 
" But afterwardes he so prodigally exceeded in charges 
and expenses, that he fell into great debt, by reason 
whereof, so many actions and sutes were commenced 
against him whereunto he answered not, that by order 
of lawe he was outlawed." ^ Leland must undoubt- 
edly have had good authority for calling liim " nobilis 
ille exlexJ* "^ Fordun supposes him in the number 
of those deprived of their estates by K. Hen. III. 
" Hoc intempore" says he, " de exheredatis surrexit 
et cajmi erexit ille famosissimus siccarius Robertus 
Ilode et littill Johanne cum eorum complicibus.'* 
(p. 774.) The Sloane MS. says he was " so ryotous 
that he lost or sould his patrimony & for debt became 
an outlawe : " and tlie Harlcian note mentions his 
" having wasted his estate in riotous courses." The 
former authority, however, gives a different, though, 
it may he, less credible, account of his being obliged 
to abscond. It is as follows : " One of his first 
cxployts was the going abrode into a forest, & bearing 
\vith him a howe of exceeding great strength, he fell 
into company with certayne rangers or woodmen, who 
fell to quarrel with him, as making showe to use such 
a bowe as no man was able to shoote withall. Whereto 
Robin replyed that he had two better then that at 
Lockesley, only he bare that with him nowe as a 
byrding bowe. At length the 'contention' grewe so 
hote that there was a wager layd about the kylling of 
a deere a greate distance of, for peiforaiance whereof 
Robin offered to lay his head to a certayne some of 
money, the advantage of which rash speach the others 
presently tooke. So the marke being found out, one 
of them, both to make his hart faynt and hand unsteady, 
as he was about to shoote urged him with the losse of 
head if he myst the marke. Notmth standing Robin 
kyld the deare, and gave every man his money agayne, 
save to him which at the poynt of shooting so upbraided 
him with danger to loose his hed for that wager ; & he 
sayd they would drinke togeyther : whereupon the 
c thers stomached the matter and from quarelling they 
giewe to fighting with him. But Robin, getting him 
somewhat of, mth shooting dispatch them, and so fled 
away; and then betaking himselfe to lyve in the 
woods, ^c." 2 

That he lurked or infested the woods is agreed by 
all. " Circa hcec iempora" says Majoi-, " Robertus 

don; which, whatever it might do in those times, would scarcely 
he thought sufficient to support such a claim, at present. Beside, 
though John the Scot died without issue, he left three sisters, all 
marryed to powerful harons, either in Scotland or in England, none 
of whom, however, assumed the title. It is, therefore, probable, 
after all, that Robin Hood derived his earldom in some other way. 

])r. Stukeley, ivhose learned labours are sufficiently known and 
esteemed, was a professed antiquary, and a beneficed clergyman of 
the church of England. He has not, it is true, thought it necessary 
to cite any ancient or other authority in support of the above repre- 
sentations; nor is it in the editors power to supply the deficiency. 
Perhaps, indeed, the doctor might think himself intitled to expect 
that his own authority would be deemed sufficient : upon that, how- 
ever, they must be content to rest. Mr. Parkin, who published " A 
reply to the peevish, weak, and malevolent objections brought by 
T>T. Stukeley, in his Otigines Roystonianw, No. 2." (Norwich, 1748. 
I 4ta) terms "his pedigree of Robin Hood quite iocose, an original 

indeed!" (see pp. 27, 32.) 

I Otho, and Fitz-Otho, it must be confessed, were common names 

j among the Anglo-Normans, but no such name as Othes, Oolk, Fitz- 

I Othes, or Fitz-Ooth, has been elsewhere met with. Philip de Kime, 

also, was certainly a considerable landholder in the county of Lincoln, 

in the time of king Henry II. but it no where appears, except from 

Dr. Stukeley, that his surname was Fitz-Ooth. 

The doctor likewise informs us that the arms of Ralph Fitzooth, 
and consequently of our hero, were " g. two bends engrailed, o." 

1 Graftons chronicle, p. 85. s Collec. I. 54. 

^ See RoMn Hoods progress to Nottingham, part n. 

Hudus Anglus ^ parvus Joannes^ latrones fama- 
iissimi, in nemoribus latuerunt." 

Dr. Stukeley says that " Robin Hood took to this 
wild way of life, in imitation of his grandfather Geoffrey 
de Mandeville, who being a favorer of Maud empress, 
K. Stephen took him piisoner at S. Albans, and mado 
him give up the tower of London, Walden, Plessis, 
&c. upon which he lived on plundei." {MS. note in 
his copy of Robin Hoods garland.) 

(f) " Of these he chiefly affected Barnsdale, ^c."] 
" Along on the lift hond," says Leland, "a iii. miles 
of betwixt Milbunie and Feribridge I saw the wooddi 
and fiimose forrest of Barnesdalc, wher thay say 
that RobynHudde lyvid like an owtlaw." Itinerary ^ 
V. 101. 

" They haunted about Barnsdale forrest, Comp- 
ton [r. Plompton'] parke^ 4 and such other places." 
MS. Sloane. 

''His principal residence," says Fuller, "was in 
Shirewood forrest in this county [Notts], though 
he liad anotlier haunt (he is no fox that hath bui one 
liole) near the sea in the North-riding in Yorkshire, 
where Robin Hoods bay still retaineth his name : 
not that he was any pirat, but a land- thief, who retreated 
to those unsuspected parts for his security." Worthies 
of England, p. 320. 

In Thorotons Nottinghamshire, p. 505, is some 
account of the ancient and present state of Sherwood 
forest ; but one looks in vain, tiu'ough that dry detail 
of land-owners, for any particulars relating to our 
hero. " In anno domini 1 1 94. king Richard the first, 
being a hunting in the forrest of Sherwood, did chase 
a hart out of the forrest of Sherwood into Barnesdale 
in Yorkshire, and because he could not there recover 
him, he made proclamation at Tickill in Yorkshire, 
and at divers others places there, that no person should 
kill, hurt, or chase the said hart, but that he might 
safely retorne into forrest againe, which hart was after- 
wards called a hart-royall proclaimed. (Man woods 
Forest laws, 1598, p. 25, from " an auncient recorde " 
found by him in the tower of Nottingham castle.) 5 

(*f) " Here he either found, ^"C."] After being 
outlawed, Grafton tells us, " for a lewde shift, as his 
last refuge, [he] gathered together a companye of 
roysters and cutters, ^ and practised robberyes and 
spoyling of the kinges subjects, and occupied and 
frequented the forestes or wild countries." See also 
the following note. 

* Plompton park, upon the banks of the Peterill, in 
Cumberland, was formerly very large, and set apart by 
the kings of England for the keeping of deer. It v/as 
disafforested or disparked, by Henry the 8th. See Camdens 
Britannia, by bishop Gibson, who seems to confound this 
park with Inglewocd forest, a district of sixteen miles in 
length, reaching from Carlile to Penrith, where the kings 
of England used to hunt, and Edward I. is reported to 
have killed 200 bucks in one day. Ibi. 

5 Drayton (Poli/olhion, song 26.) introduces Sherwood 
in the character of a nymph, who, out of disdain at the 
preference shewn by the poet to a sister-forest, 

" All self praise set apart, determineth to sing 
That lusty Robin Hood, who long time like a king 
Within her compass liv'd, and when he list to range. 
For some rich booty set, or else his aii- to change. 
To Sherwood still retir'd, his only standing court." 

6 Cutters.] See Note '^, ballad V., part I. The word is 
sometimes used as synonimous with braves or assassins. 
So in the old play of Arden of Fever sham, b. 1. n. d. 

« Jt^ they are cutters and may cut your throat." 



(g) " LiTTLR John, "William Scadlock, George 
A Hrkkn, pindcr of Wakefield, Much, a millers son, 
and a certain monk or frier named Tuck."] Of these 
the pre-eminence is incontestably due to Little John, 
whose name is almost constantly conpled with that 
of his gallant leader, " Robertus Hode ^ littill 
Johanne," are mentioned together by Fordim, as 
early as 1341 ; and later instances of the connection 
would be almost endless. After the words, "for 
deb' became an outlaw," the Sloane MS. adds, " then 
joyninge to him many stout fellowes of lyke disposi- 
tion, amongst whom one called Little John was 
principal or next to him, they haunted about Barnsdale 
forrest, ^c." See notes (ii) (kk). 

With respect to frier Tuck, " thogh some say he 
was an other kynd of religious man, for that the order 
of freyrs was not yet sprung up," (3IS. Sloan.) 
yet as the Dominican friei"s (or friers preachers) rame 
into England in the year 1221, upward of 20 years 
before the death of Robin Hood, and several orders 
of these religious had flourished abroad for some 
time, there does not seem much weight in that objec- 
tion : nor, in fact, can one pay much regard to the 
term frier, as it seems to have been the common title 
given by the vulgar (more especially after the reforma- 
tion) to all the regular clergy, of which the friers were 
at once the lowest and most numerous. If frier Tuck 
be the same person who, in one of the oldest songs, is 
called The curtal frier of Fountainsdale, he must 
necessaryly have been one of the monks of that abbey, 
which was of the Cistertian order. However this may 
be, frier Tuck is frequently noticed, by old Avriters, 
as one of the companions of Robin Hood, and as such 
Mras an essential character in the morris-dance (see 
note (h).) He is thus mentioned by Skelton, laureat, 
in his "goodly interlude" of Magnificence, written 
about the year 1500, and with an evident allusion to 
some game or practice now totally forgotten and inex- 

" Another bade shave halfe my berde, 
And boyes to the pylery gan me plucke, 
And wolde have made me freer Titcke, 
To preche oute of the pylery hole." 

In the year 1417, as Stow relates, "one by his 
coimterfeite name, called frier Tucke, with manie 
other malefactors, committed many robberies in the 
counties of Surrey & Sussex, whereupon the king 
fcpnt out his writs for their apprehension." (Annales, 

George a Green is Gcorrj oUhe Green, meaning 
perhaps the totvn-r/reen, in which the pound or pin- 
fold mood of which he had the care. He has been parti- 
nilarly celebmtod, and"" v\s good as CJeorge a Green " 
is still a common saj-ing. Drayton, describing the 
progress of the river Calder, in the west-riding of 
Yorkshire, ha« the following lines : 

*' It chanc'd Hh(« In her courno on ' Kirklcy' cast her eye, 
Wlipre merry Itohui Hood, that hoiicHt lliief, dotli lie ; 
iJcholding fitly too hc/ore how Wskpfteld htood, 
8hu doth not only think of hi«ty Hohin Hood, 
But of hih merry men, thi^ pindar of tlio town [blown 
t)f Wjtkffield. (icftrRe a (ir«'en, wlioM- faniOH bo far >ire 
For tliwr ho viUiant t\nht, that every freeninnH song 
Can tell you of the name, quoth hIic, be talk'd on long 
For ye were merry la<lH, and those were merry days." 

ThtjB too, Richard Brathwayte, in his poetical epistle 
** to all true-bred northcmo sparks of the generous 
•ociety of the Cottonccrs " I Strappado for the divell, 

But haste, my muse, in colours to display 

Some auncient customes in their high-roade way, 

At least sueh places labour to make knowno 
As former times have honour'd with renowne. 

The first whereof that I intend to show 

Is merry Wakefield, and her pindar too, 

Which fame hath blaz'd with all that did belong. 

Unto that towne in many gladsf)me song, 

The pindars valour, and how firme he stood 

In th' townes defence 'jjainst th' rebel Robin Hood, 

How stoutly lie behav'd himselfe, and would, 

In spite of Robin, brinp his horse to th' fold. 

His many May-games which were to be seene 

Yearly presented vpon WakeJieJd greene, 

Where lovely Jugge and lustie Tib would go, 

To see Tom-lively tume upon the toe ; 

Hob, Lob, and Crowde the fidler would be there, 

And many more I will not spcake of here. 

Good God ! how glad hath been this iiart of mine. 

To see that towne, which hath, in former time, 

So flourish'd and so gloried in her name. 

Famous by th' pindar who first rais'd the fame ! 

Yea, I have paced ore that greene and ore 

And th' more I saw't I tookc delight the more, 

• For where we take contentment in a place, 

A whole daies walke seemes as a cinquepace.' 

Y'et as there is no solace upon earth, 

'\\niich is attended evermore with mirth, 

•But when we are transported most with gladnesse. 

Then suddenly our joy's reduc'd to sadnesse, 

So far'd ^vith mc to see the pindar gone, 

And of those jolly laddes that were not one 

Left to survive : I griev'd more then He say : — 

(But now for Bradford I must hast away.) 

Unto thy task, my muse, and now make knowne, 

The jolly shoo-maker of Bradford towne, 

His gentle craft so rais'd in former time 

By princely journey-men his discipline, 

' Where he was wont with passengers to quaflFe, 

' But suffer none to carry np their staffe' 

TTpon their shoulders, whilst they past through town, 

For if they did he soon would beat them downc ; 

(So valiant was the souter) and from hence 

Twixt Robin Hood and him grew th* difference ; 

Which, cause it is by most stage poets writ, 

For brevity I thought good to omit." 

In the latter part of this exti-act, honest Richard 
evidently alludes to " A pleasant conccyted comedia 
of George a Greene, the pinner of Wakefield; as it sundry times acted by the servants of the right 
honourable the earle of Sussex," 1599, 4to, which has 
been erroneously ascribed to Heywood the epigram- 
matist, and is reprinted, with other tnish, in the late 
edition of Dodslcys Old plays ; only it imluckily 
hai)])cns that Jiohin Hood is almost the only person 
who has NO difference with the souter (or shoe-maker) 
of Bradford. The play in short (or at least that 
part of it which we have any concern with) is founded 
on the ballad of liubin Hood and the pinder of 
Wakefield, (see part II. song 3,) which it directly 
quotes, and is in fact a most despicable performance. 
King Isdward {the fourth) having taken king .Tames 
of Scotland prisoner, after a most bloody battle near 
Middleham-castle, from which of 30,000 Scots not 
5000 had escaped, comes with his royal captive in 
diguise to Bradford, where they meet Robin Hood 
and George a Green, who have just had a stout 
affi-ay : and, after having read this, and a great deal 
more such nonsensical stufl', captain Grose sagaciously 
" supposes, that this play has little or no foundation in 



history;" and very gravely sits down, and debates liis 
opinion in form. 

" The history of Gebrge a Green, pindar of the 
town of Wakefield," 4 to, no date, is a modern pro- 
duction, chiefly founded on the old play just mentioned, 
of neither authority nor merit. ' 

Our gallant pinderis thus facetiously commemorated 
by Drunken Barnaby: 

" Hinc diverse curso, sero 
Quod audissem dc pindero 
Wakefeeldensi ; gloria mundi, 
Vbi socii siintjucnndi, 
Mecum statui peragrare 
Georgii fustem visilare." 

*' Turning thence, none could me hinder 
To salute the Wakefield pindar ,■ 
Who indeed is the world's glory, 
With his comrades never son-y. 
This was the cause, lest you should miss it, 
George's club I meant to visit. 

" Veni Wakefield peramcenum, 
Ubi qucercns Georgium Greenum, 
Noil invent, sed in lignum, 
Fixum reperi Georgii signum, 
Ubi allatn bibi/eram 
Honec Georgio /or <ior cram." 

" Strait at AVakefield I was seen a, 
WTbere I sought for George a Grern a ,- 
Jlut could find not such a creature, 
Yet on a sign I saw his feature, 
NVhere strength of ale had so much stir'd me, 
That I grew stouter far than Jordie." 

Besides the companions of our hero enumerated in 
rtie text, and whose names are most celebrated and 
familiar, we find those of William of Goldsbrough, 
(mentioned by Grafton,) Right-hitting Brand, (by 
Mundy,) and Gilbert with the white hand, who is 
thrice named in the Lyttell geste of Robyn Hade, 
(pp. 47. 51.) and is likewise noticed by bishop Gawin 
Douglas, in his Palice of Honour, printed at Edin- 
burgh in 1579, but WTitten before 1518 : 

" Thair saw I Maitlaind upon auld Beird Gray, 
Robene Hude, and Gilbert with the quhite ' hand,' 
How Hay of Nauchton flew, in Madin land." 2 

As no mention is made of Adam Bell, Clim of the 
Clough and William of Cloudeslie, either in the 
ancient legend, or in more than one of the nume- 
rous songs of Robin Hood, nor does the name of 
the latter once occur in the old metrical history of 
those famous archers, reprinted in Percys Reliques, 
and among Pieces of ancient popular poetry, it is 
to be concluded that they flourished at different 
periods, or at least had no connection with eacb 
other. In a poem, however, entitled " Adam 
Bell, Clim of the Clough, and young William of 
Cloudesley, the second part," 1616, 4to, b. 1, (Bib. 
JBod. Art. L. 71, being a more modern copy than 
that in Selden C. 39, which wants the title, but was 
probably printed with the first part, which it there 
accompanies, in 1605; differing considerably there- 
j:om in several places ; and containing many additional 

1 An edition of " The history of George a Green,'' 1706, 
is in the British Museum. 

2 Scotish poems, i. 122. The last verse is undoubtedly 
sense as it now stands; but a collation of MSS. would 

jrobably authorise us to read, 

" Quhom, Hay of Nauchton slew in Madin land." 

verses :) arc the following lines (not in the former 
copy) : 

«< Now beare thy fathers heart, my boy. 

Said William of Cloudesley then. 
When i was young i car'd not for 

The brags of sturdiest men. 
The pinder of Wakefield, George a Green, 

I try'd a sommers day. 
Yet he nor i were victors made 

Nor victor'd went away. 
Old Robin Hood, nor Little John, 

Amongst their merry men all. 
For fryer Tuck, so stout and young. 

My courage could appall." 

(h) " Marian".] Who or whatever this lady was, 
it is observable that no mention of her occurs either 
in the Lytell geste of Robyn Hode, or in any other 
poem or song concerning him, except the not very old 
ballad of " Robin Hoods golden prise," where she ia 
bai-ely named, and a comparatively modem one of no 
merit (see part II. song 24). She is an important 
character, however, in the two old plays of The death 
and downfall of Robert earl of Huntington, written 
before 1600, and is frequently mentioned by dramatic 
or other writers about that period. The morris dance, 
so famous of old time, was (as is elsewhere noticed) com- 
posed of the following constituent characters : Robin 
Hood, Little John, frier Tuck, and maid Marian. 

In the First part of K. Henry IV. Falstaft' says 
to the hostess, — " There's no more faith in thee than 
in a stew'd pnine ; nor no more truth in thee than in 
a drawn fox ; and for womanhood, maid Marian may 
be the deputy's wife of the ward to thee : " upon 
which Dr. Johnson observes, that " Maid Marian 
is a man dressed like a woman, who attends the 
dancers of the morris." " In the ancient songs of 
Robin Hood,^' says Percy, "frequent mention 's 
made of maid Marian, who appears to have been his 
concubine. I could quote," adds he, "many passages 
IN MY OLD MS. to this purpose, but shall produce 
only one ; ^ 

" Crood Robin Hood was living then, 
WTiich now is quite forgot. 
And so was fayre maid Marian, &c." 

Mr. Steevens, too, after citing the old play of The 
downfall of Robert earl of Huntington, 1601, to 
prove "that maid Marian was originally a name 
assumed by Matilda, the daughter of Robert lord 
Fitzwater, while Robin Hood remained in a state of 
outlawry," observes, that " Shakspeare speaks of 
maid Marian in her degraded state, when she was 
represented by a strumpet or a clown : " and refers to 
figure 2 in the plate at the end of the play, with 
Mr. Toilets observations on it. The widow, in sir W. 
Davenants Love and Honour, says, " I have been 
mistress Marian in a maurice ere now; " and Mr. 
Warton quotes an old piece, entitled " Old Meg of 
Herefordshire for a maid Marian, and Hereford town 
for a morris-dance : or 12 morris-dancers in Here- 
fordshire of 1200 years old," London, 1609, quarto: 
which is dedicated, he says, to one Hall, a celebrated 
tabourer in that coimtry. 4 See note (ff). 

3 Without " the ancient songs," to which the doctor 
refers, are confined to his " old MS." he evidently asserts 
what he would probably find it difficult to prove. As for 
the passage he produces, it seems nothing to the purpose ; 
as, in the first place, it is apparently not " ancient;" and, 
in the second, it is apparently not from a " song of Robin 

* Mr. Walton, having observed that " The play of Robiu 




(i) "His company, §T."] Sec the entire passage 
quoted from Major in a subsequent note. " By such 
bootyes as he could get," says the writer of the 
Sloane MS. '* his company encreast to an Imndrcd 
and a halfe." 

(j) — "the words of an old wi-iter."] The author 
of the Sloane manuscript ; which adds : " after such 
maner he procured tlie pynuer of AVakefeyld to become 
one of his company, and a frcyr called Muchel [r. 
Tuck)...Scarlock he induced upon this occasion : one 
«lay meeting liim as he walket solitary & hke to a man 
forlornc, because a mayd to whom he was aftyanced 
was taken from [him] by the violence of her frends, 
& given to another tliat was old & welthy, where- 
\\\MV\ Robin, understanding when the maryage-day 
should be, came to the church as a begyer, & having 
his own company not far of, which came in so soone 
as they hard the sound of his home, he tooke the 
bryde perforce from him that [bare] in hand to have 
marryed her, & caused the priest to wed her & Scar- 
locke togeyther." (See part II. song 8.) This MS., 
of Mhicii great part is merely the old legend or Lytell 
geste of Robyii Hode turned into prose, appears to 
have been written before the year 1600. 

(k) " In shooting, (^c"] M.S'. Sloan. Grafton 
also speaks of our heros " excellyng principally in 
archery or shooting, his manly courage agreeyng there- 

Their archery, indeed, was unparalleled, as both 
Robin Hood and Little John have frequently shot 
an arrow a measured mile, or 1760 yards, which, it is 
supposed, no one, either before or since, was ever able 
to do. "Tradition," says master Charlton, "informs 
us that in one of ' Robin Hoods' peregrinations, he, 
attended by his trusty mate Little John, went to dine 
[at Whitby-Abbey] with the abbot Richard, who, 
having heard them often famed for their great dexterity 
in shooting with the long bow, begged them after 
dinner to shew him a specimen thereof; when, to 
oblige the abbot, they went up to the top of the abbey^ 
whence each of them shot an arrow, which fell not fax* 
from Whitby-laths, but on the contrary side of the 
lane ; and in memorial thereof, a j)illar was set up by 
the alibot in the place where each of the arrows was 
finmd, which arc yet standing in the^e our days; that 
field where the ]>illar for Robin Hood's arrow stands 
Ix-'ing still called Robin Hood's field, and the other 
where the pillar for Little John's arrow is jdaced, still 
prcKi'rving the jianic of JolnCs field. 'J'heir distance 
from "NVIiitby abbey is mouk than a mf:asuukd mile, 
which seems very far for the llight of an arrow, and is 
a circumstance that will stagger the faith of many ; 
but as to the credibility of the story, every reader may 
judge thereof as he thinks proper; only I must here 
beg leave to oliserve that these very ])rilars are men- 
tioned, and the lields called by the aforesaid names, in 
the old deedb for that ground, now in the ])ossessiou 

.ind Marian i'h Huid to have been pcrfonned by the sehool- 
ItfiVH of A nRlors, according to annual custom, in tlie year 
l.'t;>J: 'J'he boyH were tUrjuisiez, wiys the old French record ; 
and they had among tlicm in killkttk dfsiiiiiscc; (dirpcnl. 
Jhi Canije, v. ivohis'et rKNTKCosTK):" aihls " Our old eha- 
nu'tcr of Mayd Marian niiiy be hence illustrutid." (11 is. 
En. po. 1. 24.'».) ThiH, indeed, soems Miiliciently jdaubible ; 
but unfortunately the Iluhin and Marian ot Atti/ifrs aro 
not tho Jtiifiin and Marian of Sherwood. The play is btlll 
extant, tn-c I'alliau.i on iuutcx, Paris, 17"! , ii. 144. 

of Mr. Thomas Watson." {History of Whitby, 
York, 1779, p. 146.) » 

Dr. Meredith Hannier, in his Chronicle of Ireland, 
(p. 1 79,) speaking of Little John, says, " There arc 
memorable acts reported of him, which I hold not for 
truth, that he would shoot an arrow a mile off, and 
a great deale more; but them," adds he, "I leave 
among the lyes of the land." - 

(l) " An outlaw, in those times, being deprived of 
protection, owed no allegiance, ^c."] Such a charac- 
ter was, doubtless, at the period treated of, in a veiy 
critical situation ; it being equally as legal and merito* 
rious to hunt down and despatch him as it was to kill 
a wolf, the head of which animal he was said to beai'. 
" Itevi forisfacit, says Bmcton, (who wrote about 
the time,) omnia que dacis sunt, quia a tempore quo 
utlagatus est caput gerit lupinum, ila ut impune ab 
omnibus interfici possit.'' (I. 2. c. 35.) In the great 
roll of the Exchequer, in the 7 th year of king Richard 
I. is an allowance by writ, of two marks, to Thomas 
de Prestwude, for bringing to Westminster the head of 
William dc Ellefo'rd, an outlaw. (See Madoxes 
History of the Exchequer, 136.) Those who received 

1 " The quarry from whence king Wolfere fetched stones 
for his royal structure [/. e. Peterborough] was undoubtedly 

that ofBernach near imto Stamford And I find in the 

charter of K. Edward the Confessor, which he granted to 
the abbot of Ramsey, that the abbot of Ramsey should 
give to the abbot and convent of Pcterburgh AOW) eeles in 
the time of Lent, and in consideration thereof the abbot of 
Peterburgh should give to the abbot of Ramsey as much 
freestone from his pittsin Bcrnack, and as much ragstono 
from his pitts in Peterburgh as he should need. Nor did 
the abbot of Peterburgh from these pits furnish only that 
but other abbies also, as that of St. Edmimds-Bury : in 
memory whereof there arc two long stones yet standing 
upon a balk in Castor-field, near unto Gun wade- ferry; 
which erroneous tradition hath given out to be draughts 
of arrows from Alwalton church-yard thither; the one of 
Robin Hood, and the other of Little John ; but the truth 
is, they were set up for witnesses, that the cariiages of 
stone from Uernack to Gunwade-ferry, to be conveyed to 
S. Edmunds-Bury, might pass that Avay without paying 
toll ; and in some old terrars they are called S. Edmunds 
stones. These stones are nicked in theii- tops after tho 
manner of arrows, probably enough in memory of S. 
Edmund, M-ho was shot to death with arrows by the 
Danes." Guntons Hi stori/ of the church of Peterburgh, 
IGOG, p. 4. 

2 "In this relation," iMr. Walker observes, " the doctor 
not only evinces his credulity, but displays his ignorance 
of archery; for the ingenious and Iciirned 3Ir. Barrington, 
than whom no man can be better informed on the subject, 
thinks that eleven score and seven yards is the utmost 
extent that an arrow can be shot from a long bow." 
(Arclt<Tolo<jia, vol. VU.) According to tradition, ho .adds. 
Little John shot an ;urow from the Old-bridge, J)ublin, to 
tho present site of St. Michaels church, a distance not 
cxceoding, ho believes, that mentioned by Mi-. Barrington. 
(Historical essay on the dress of the ancient and modern 
Irish, p. li'!).) 

What Air. Barrington "thinks" may be true enough, 
l)erliai)s, of tlie Toxophilite-soeiety and other modern 
archers; but people should not talk of Roiiin Hood who 
never shot in his htiw. The above ingenious writers een.sure 
of Dr. Hanmers credulity and i<in(iranee, seems to bo mis- 
nj)plyed; since ho cannot bo supposed to believe what ho 
holds nut fir truth, and actually leaves among the lyes of 

See also the old song, printed in the appendix, No. 2. 
Drayton, a well-informed and intelligent man, who wrote 
bcfine archery liad fallen into complete disuse, says — 
" At nuuks full/()>7.i/ score they us'd to prick .nnd rove." 




ov consorted with a person outlawed were subject to 
tlic same punishment. Such was the humane policy 
uf our enlightened ancestors ! 


. . . . they could discourse 
The freezing hours away !"] 


(Cj/mbeline, act ill, scene 3.) The chief subjects of 
our heros conversation are supposed, by a poetical 
genius of the 16th century, to have been the com- 
mendation of a forest-life, and the ingratitude of 

<' I have no tales of Robin Hood, though rnal-content 

was he 
In better daies, Sret Richards daies, andliv'd inwoodsaswe 
A Tymon of the world ; but not devoutly Avas lie soe, -\ 
And therefore praise I not the man : but for from him j 

did groe. )- 

Words worth the note, a word or twaine of him ere | 

hence we goe, J 

Those daies begot some malcontents, the principall of 

A coimty was, that with u troope of yomandry did rome, 
Rrave archers and deliver men, since nor before so good. 
Those took from rich to give the poore,and manned Robin 

He fed them well, and lodg'd them safe in pleasant caves 

and bowers, 
Oft saying to his merry men, What juster life than ours ? 
Here use we tallents that abroad the chm-les abuse or 

Their coffers excrements, and yeat for common wants 

We might have sterved for their store, & they havex 

dyc'st our bones, I 

Wliose tongues, driftes, harts, intice, meane, melt, as ' 

syrens, foxes, stones. 
Yea even the best that betterd them heard but aloofe 

our mones. 

And redily the churles could prie and prate of our amis, 
Forgetfull of their owne, . . . 

I did amis, not missing friends that wisht me to amend : "\ 
I did amend,but missed friends when mine amis had end : ! 
Jly friendst herefore shall finde me true, but I will trust f 

no frend. J 

Not one I knewe that wisht me ill, nor any workt me well , A 
To lose, lacke, live, time, f rends, in yncke, an hell, an I 

hell, an hell ! } 

Then happie we (quoth Robin Hood) in merry Sherwood } 

that dwell. 1 J 

It has been conjectured, however, that in the winter- 
season, our hero and his companions severally quartered 
themselves in viliages or country-houses more or less 
remote, with persons of w'hose fidelity they were 
assured. It is not improbable, at the same time, that 
they miglit have tolerably comfortable habitations 
erected in the woods. 

Archery, which our hero and liis companions appear 
to have carryed to a state of perfection, continued to 
be cultivated for some ages after their time, down, 
indeed, to that of Henry VIII. or about the year 
1540, when, owing to the introduction of artillery 
and matchlock-guns, it became neglected, and the 
bowmen of Cressy and Agincourt utterly extinct : 
though it may be still a question whether a body of 
expert archers would not, even at this day, be superior 
to an equal number armed with muskets. The fol- 
lowing extract from Hales Historia placitorum coronce 
(i. 1 18) "will serve to show how familiar the bdw and 
arrow was in the Hth century. " M. 22. E. .3. Rot. 

1 Warners Albions England, 1602, p. 13?. It is part of 
the hermits speech to the erul of Laneaf?ter. 

1 17. coram rege Ebor. This was the case of Henry 
Vescy, who had been indicted before the sheriff in 
turno suo ... of divers felonies, whereupon the slieriff 
mandavit commissionem suam Henrico de Cli/dermce 
§" aliis ad capiendum pradicturn H. Vescy, <|- salvo 
ducendum usque castrum de Ebor\ Vescy would 
not submit to an arrest, but fled, ^ inter fugiendum 
shot Avith his bow and arrows at his pursuers, but in the 
end was kild by Clyderawe : " to which may be added 
a remarkable passage in Harrisons " Description of 
England," (prefixed to Holinsheds chronicle, 1587,) 
to prove how much it had declined in the 16th. " In 
times past," says he, "the cheefe force of England 
consisted in tlieir long bowcs. But now we have in 
maner generallie given over that kind of artillerie, and 
for long bowes in deed doo practise to shoot compasse 
for our pastime ; which kind of shooting can never 
yceld anic smart stroke, nor beat down our enemies, as 
our countricmen were woont to doo at everie time of 
need. Certes the Frenchmen and Ruttcrs^ deriding 
our new archei'ie in respect of their corslets, will not 
let, in open skirmish, if anie leisure serve, to turn up 
their tailes, and crie, Shoote, English ; and all because 
our strong shooting is decaied and laid in bed. .But 
if some of our Englishmen now lived that sei-ved king 
Edward the third in his warres with France, the breech-^ 
of such a varlet should have been nailed to his bum 
with one arrow, and an other fethered in his bowels, 
before he should have turned about to see who shot 
the first." (p. 198.) Bishop Latimer, in his sixth 
sermon before K. Edward VI. gives an interesting 
account how the sons of yeomen were, in his infancy, 
trained up to the bow. 

(n) " All clad in Lincoln green— "J 

This species of cloth is mentioned by Spenser [Faeine 
queeiie, VI. ii. 5.) 

" All in a woodmans jacket he was clad 
Of Lincolne greene, belay'd with silver lace; 
And on his head an hood with aglets sprad. 
And by his side his hunters borne he hanging had." 

It is likewse noticed by our poet himself, in another 
place : 
" Swains in shepherds gray, andgyrlesin Lincolne greene."^ 

See Polyolbion, song XXV. where the marginal note 
says, " Lincolne anciently dyed the best green in 
England." Thus Coventry had formerly the reputa- 
tion of dying the best blue. See Rays Proverbs^ p. 178. 
Kendal green is eqxially famous, and appears tj have 
been cloth of a similar quality. This colour wa, 
adopted by foresters to prevent their being too readilj 
discovered by the deer. See Sir John Wynnes His- 
tory of the Guedir family, (Barringtons Miscellanies.^ 
p. 419. Thus the Scotish highlanders used to wear 
brown plaids to prevent their being distinguished 
among the heath. It is needless to observe that green 
has ever been the favourite dress of an archer., hunter. 
Sec. See note (cc) 5. We noAV call it a Saxon or 
grass green : 

" His coat is of a Saxon green, his waistcoat's of a plaid." 

0. Song. 

- Flemings. -^ Breeches. 
i Thus also in part H. ballad I. 

" She got on her holyday kirtle and go\vn, 
They v.ere of a light Lincolne green.'' 

5 In the sign of The green man and still, we perceive a 
huntsman, in a green coat, standing by the side of a still, 



Lincoln green was well known in France in or 
brfdic the thirteenth century. Thus in an old/a6/ja>/, 
tninsposed by M. Lc Grand {Fuhliaux on contes, iv. 
12 :) " // mit d(>nc son surcot fonrr^ d^ecnreuil, ^ 
an helle robe d'M>*TANFOKT teinte en verd." Kstmifort 
is Stamford, in Lincolnshire. This cloth is, likewise, 
often mentioned by the old Scotish poets, under the 
names of Lincum licht, Lincum twrjne^ &c. and appears 
to have been in universal request : and yet, notwith- 
etandinjT this cloud of evidence, mister John Pinkerton 
has had the confidence to assert tliat "no particular 
cloth was ever made at Lincoln." (See Ancient 
Scotish poems, ii. 430.) But, indeed, this worthy 
gentleman, as Johnson said of Goldsmith, only stum- 
bles upon truth by accident. 

(o) "But it is to be remembered," ^c] The 
passage, from Majors work, which has been already 
quoted, is here given entire (except as to a single 
sentence introduced in another place.) Circa hcec 
tr.mpora [s. Ricardi 7.] ut augiiror, Robertus 
litidus ^ Parvus Joannes latrones famatissimi, in 
vemoribus latiterwit, solum opulentum virorum bona 
diripientes. Nullum nisi eos invadentem vel resis- 
teidempro suarum rerumtuitione occiderunt. Centum 
saqiCfarios adpvpnam aptissimos Robertus latrociniis 
aluit quos 400 viri fortissimi invadere non audebant. 
Fceniinam nullam opprimi permisit, nee pauperum 
bona surripuit, verum eos ex abbatum bonis ablatis 
opipare pavAl. Viri rapiiiam improbo, sed latronum 
omnium humanissimus S[ princeps erat." (^Majoris 
Britannice Hisloria. Edin. 1740. p. 128.) 

Stowe, in his Annales, 1592, p. 227. gives an 
almost literal version of the above passage ; Richard 
Robinson versifies it ' ; and Camden slightly refers to it. 

(p) — " has had the honour to be compared to the 
illustrious "Wallace, »|fc."] In the first volume of 
Pecks intended supplement to the Monasficon, con- 
sisting of collections for the history of Prjemonstraten- 
sian monasteries, now in the British Museum, is a very 
curious rhyming Latin poem, with the following title : 
" Priuris Alnwicensist de bello Scotico ajmd Uum- 
barr, tempore regis Edwardi I. dictamen sive rithmus 
Lalinus, quo de AVillielmo Wallacf, Scotico illo 
Robin Whood, plura sed invidiose canit : " and in 
the margin are the following date and reference : " 22. 
Julii 130 4. 32. E. I. Reg ist. Prem. fol. 59. a." 

in nllimion, ii« it has been facetiously conjccttired, to the 
partiality sbown by that description of gentry to a morn- 
ing dram. The genuine representation, however, should 
be the. green man, (or man vhodeals in 'ircen herbs,) with 
a bundle of pepper mint, or penntj-royal, under his arm, 
wliich hc! brings to have distilled. 
' " Kichnrd Cccur de Lyon cald a king and conqueror 
With I'hillip king of France who did unto .Jerusalem passe: 

In this kings time was Robyn Hood, that archer and 

And little John his imrtcncr eke, unto them which did 

f)no hnnflrcfl tall and good arihers, on whom foure hou- 
drwl men, 

I Wcrcthcir power nevprsostrong.coidd notgivoonsotthen; 
I The abbots, monkes, and carles rich these onoly did molest, 
I And reskowd woemcn when they saw of tlieevcs thcni so 
I oi)pre8t ; 

I ncHtoring pooro mens goods, and eke abundantly rcleeved 
Poorc travollera which wonted food, or wore with (tickncs 
I grcevcd.** 

Third Assertion, tic. (quoted elsewhere). 

This, it may be obser\'ed, is the first known instance 
of our heros name being mentioned by any writer what 
ever; and aflords a strong and respectable proof of 
his early popularity. 

(q) — " the abbot of St. Marys in York "] 
" In the year 1088 Alan earl of Richmond founded 
here a stately abbey for black monks to the honour 
of St. Olave ; but it was afterwards dedicated to the 
blessed Virgin by the command of king William Rufus. 
Its yearly revenues at the suppression amounted to 
1.550/. 7s. 9d. Dugd. 2850/. Is. od. Speed:' 
Willis's Mitred abbeys, i. 214. The abbots in our 
heros time were — 

Robert de Harpsham (el. 1184) ob. 1198. 
Robert de Longo Campo, ob. 1239. 
William Rondcle, ob. 1244. 
Tho. de Wharterhille,o6. 1258. 

(r) — "the shcrif of Nottinghamshire"] Ralph 
Murdach was sherif of Derby and Nottinghamshires in 
the 1st year of king Richard I. and for the 7 years 
preceding, and William Brewerre in his 6th year, 
between which and the 1st no name appears on the 
roll. See Fullers Worthies, &c. 

(s) — "an anecdote preserved by Fordun, 4'^""] 
" De quo eciam qucedam commendabilia recitantur^ 
sicut patuit in hoc, quod cum ipse quondam in 
Barnisdale tram [f. ob iram'\ regis ^ fremitum 
principis, missam, ut soliius erat, dcvotissime 
audiret, nee aliqua necessitate volebat intcrrum- 
pere officium, quadam die cum audiret missam, a 
quodam vicecumite ^ ministris regis, saepius per 
prius ipsum infestantibus, in illo secretissimo loco 
nemorali, ubi misses interfuit. exploratus, venientes 
ad eum qui de suis hoc percepenint, ut omni annisti 
fugeret suggesseruut, qui, ob reverentiam sacra- 
menti, quod tunc dcvotissime vcnerabatur, omnino 
facere rscusavil. Sed ceteris suis, ob metum mortis 
trepidantibus, Robertus iantum confisus in eum, 
quern coluit reverittis, cum paucissimis, qui tunc 
forte ei affuerunt, inimicos cong7-essus ^ eos de 
facili devicil, ^- de eorum spoliis ac redemptione ■ 
ditatus, ministros ecclesice ^- missas semper in 
majori veneratione semper ^ de post habere 
prcBclegit, attcndens quod vulgariter dictum est : 

Hoc detu exaudit, qui missam scepius audit." 

(J. De Fordun Scotichronicon, k Hearne. Ox. 1722. 

p. 77L) 

This passage is found in no other copy of Forduns 
chronicle than one in the Ilarlcian library. Its sup- 
pression in all the rest may be fairly accounted for 
on the principle which is presumed to have influenced 
the conduct of the ancient English historians. See 
note (a). 

(t) — " a proclamation was published, tj^^."] " The 
king att last," says the Ilarlcian MS. "sett furth a 
proclamation to h.ave him apprehended, ^'C." Gmfton, 
after having told us that he "practised robbcryes, ^-c." 
adds, " The which beyng ccrtcfycd to the king, and 
hc bcyng greatly offended therewith, caused liis ])ro- 
clamation to be made that whosoever would hryng 
him quickc or dead, the king would geve him a great 
summe of money, as by the recordcs in the Exchequer 
is to be secne : But of this promise no man enjoyed 
any bencfite. For the sayd Robert Hood, being aftcr- 




•waides troubled with sicknesse, ^c." (p. 85.) See 
note (l). 

(o) " At length, the infirmities of old age increasing 
upon him, ^fC."] Thus Grafton : " The sayd Robert 
Hood, beyng troubled with sicknesse, came to a certain 
nonry in Yorkshire called Bircklies [r. Kircklies], 
where desiryng to be let blood, he was betrayed and 
bled to death." The Sloane MS. says that " [Being] 
dystempered with could and age, he had great payne 
in his iymnies, his bloud being corrupted, therfore, to 
be eased of his payne by letting bloud, he repayred to 
the priores of Kyrkesly, which some say was his aunt, 
a woman very skylful in physique & surgery ; who, 
perceyving him to be Robyn Hood, & waving howe 
tel an enimy he was to religious persons, toke reveng 
of him for her owne bowse and all others by letting 
liim bleed to death. It is also sayd that one sir 
Roger of Doncaster, bearing grudge to Robyn for some 
injury, incyted the priores, with whome he was very 
familiar, in such a maner to dispatch him." See tlie 
Lytell fjeste of Robyn Hode^ ad finem. The Harleian 
MS., after mentioning the proclamation " sett furth to 
have him apprehended, " adds, " at which time it hap- 
pened he fell sick at a nunnery in Yorkshire called 
Birkleys [r. Kirkleys] ; & desiring there to be let 
blood, hee was beytrayed & made bleed to death." 

Kirkleys, Kirklees or Kirkleghes, formerly Kuthale, 
in the deanry of Pontefract, and archdeaconry of the 
west riding of Yorkshire, was a Cistercian, or, as some 
say, a Benedictine nunnery, founded, in honour of the 
virgin Mary and St. James, by Reynerus Flandrensis 
in the reign of king Henry II. Its revenues at the 
dissolution were somewhat about £2Q. and the site was 
granted (36 Hen. 8.) to John Tasburgh and Henry 
Savill, from whom it came to one of the ancestors of 
Sir George Armytage bart. the present possessor. The 
remains of the building (if any) are very inconsiderable, 
and its register has been searched after in vain. See 
Tanners Notitia^ p. 674. Thoi-esbys Ducatus 
Leodiensis, p. 91. Hearnes " Account of several 
antiquities in and about the university of Oxford," 
at the end of Lelands Itinerary, vol. ii. p. 128. 

In 1706 was discovered, among the ruins of the 
nunnery, the monument of Elizabeth de Staynton, 
prioress ; but it is not certain that this was the lady 
from whom our hero experienced such kind assistance. 
See Thoresby and Hearne ubi supra. 

" One may wonder," says Dr. Fuller, " how he 
escaped the hand of justice, dying in his bed, for aught is 
found to the contrary : but it was because he was rather 
a merry than a mischievous thief (complementing 
passengers out of their purses), never murdering any but 
deer, and . . . ' feasting' the vicinage with his venison." 
( Worthies, p. 320.) See the following note. 

(v) " He was interred under some trees at a short 
distance from the house ; a stone being placed over his 
grave with an inscription to his memory." '•'■ Kirhley 
monasterium monialium, ubi Ro : Hood nobilis ille 
exlex sepultus." Lelands Collectanea, 1. 54. — 
"Kirkleys Nunnery, in the woods whereof Robin 
Hoods grave is, is between Halifax and Wakefield 
upon Caldei." Letter from Jo. Savile to W. 
Camden, Illus. viro epis. 1691. 

- as Caldor comes along, 

It chanc'd she in her course on ' Kirkley ' cast her eye, 

Where merry Robin Hood, that honest thief, doth lie." 

(Poly-Olbion, Song 28.) 

See also Camdens Britannia, 1695, p. 709. 

In the second volume of Dr. Stukeleys Itinerariurii 
curiosum is an engi'avingof " The prospect of Kirkleys- 
abby, where Robin Hood dyed, from the footway lead- 
ing to Heartishead church, at a quarter of a mile 
distance. A. The New Hall. B. The Gatehouse 
of the Nunnery. C. The trees among which Robin 
Hood was buryed. D. The way up the Hill whore 
this was drawn. E. Bradley wood. F. Almondbury 
hill. G. Castle field. Drawn by Dr. Johnston 
among his Yorkshire antiquitys, p. 54 of the drawings. 
E. Kirkall, sculp." It makes plate 99 of the above 
work, but is unnoticed in the letter press. 

According to the Sloane MS. the prioress, after 
" letting him bleed to death, buryed him under a great 
stone by the hywayes syde : " which is agreeable to 
the account in Graftons chronicle, where it is said that, 
after his death, " the prioresse of the same place caused 
him to be buried by the highway side, where he had 
used to rob and spoyle those that passed that way. 
And vpon his grave the sayde prioresse did lay a very 
fayre stone, wherein the names of Robert Hood, 
William of Goldesborough, and others were graven. 
And the cause why she buryed him there was, for that 
the common passengers and travailers, knowyng and 
seeyng him there buryed, might more safely and with- 
out feare take their jorneys that way, which they durst 
not do in the life of the sayd outlawes. And at eyther 
ende of the sayde tombe was erected a crosse of stone, 
which is to be scene there at this present." 

" Near unto ' Kirklees^ the noted Robin Hood lies 
bulled under a gi-ave-stone that yet remains near the 
park, but the inscription scarce legible." Thoresbys 
Ducatus Leodiensis, p. 91. In the Appendix, p. 
576, is the following note, with a reference to " page 

" Amongst the papers of the learned Dr. Gale, 
late dean of Yorke, was found this epitaph of Robia 
Hood : 

^tKV xmtitvntKii tsi^ laiti ^tean 
lat^ tahtxt 2Kvl of ^unttngtun 
near arctr htv Ki Ijtr ^a gmtf 
an jptjpl feaultf int roBtn 5^utf 
Strife utlab3| a^ l^t an t| mtw 
hil englan^ nt&r ^i ajEjen. 
flfitit 24 [r. 14] Ml 'azktva'iixi^ 1247." 

The genuineness of this epitaph has been questioned. 
Dr. Percy, in the first edition of his " Reliques of 
ancient English, poetry," (1765,) " It must be con- 
fessed this epitaph is suspicious, because in the most 
ancient poems of Robin Hood, there is no mention 
of this imaginary earldom." This reason, however, is 
by no means conclusive, the most ancient poem now 
extant having no pretension to the antiquity claimed 
by the epitaph : and indeed the doctor himself should 
seem to have afterwai'd had lets confidence in it, as, 
in both the subsequent editions, those words arc 
omitted, and the learned critic merely observes that 
the epitapb appears to him suspicious. It will be 
admitted that the bare suspicion of this ingenious 
writer, whose knowledge and judgment of ancient 
poetry are so conspicuous and eminent, ought to have 
considerable weight. As for the present editors part, 
though he does not pretend to say that the language 
of this epitaph is that of Henry the thirds time, nor 
indeed to determine of what age it is, he can perceive 
nothing in it from whence one should be led to pro- 
nounce it spurious, i. e. that it was never inscribed 
on the grave-stone of Robin Hood. That there 


Tin: LIF1-: OF KOlilN IIOOj). 

uctually \v7issomc inscription upon it in Mr. Thorcsbys 
time, thougli tlicn scarce legible, is evident from his 
own >voiils : and it should bo remembered, as well 
tliat the last century was not the era Of imposition, 
a^, that Dr. Oale was both too pood and too learned 
.1 man either to be capable of it himself or to be 
liable to it from others.' 

That industrious ehronolofjist and topogi'apher, as 
Mcll as respectable artist and citizen, master Thomas 
Oent, of York, in his "List of religious houses," 
annexed to " The ancient and modern state of" that 
famous city, 1730, 12nio, p. 234, informs us that he 
had been told, ^ That his [Robin Ho<;)ds] tombstone, 
having his effigy thereon, was order'd, not many 
yeai-s ago, by a certain knight to be placed as a harth- 
Btone in his great hall. When it was laid over- 
night, the next morning it was ' sui-prizingly ' removed 
[on or to] OTIC side ; and so three times it was laid, 
and as successively turned aside. The knight, think- 
ing he had done wrong to have brought it tliither, 
order'd it shoiild lie drawn back again ; which was 
pcrfonned by u pair of oxen and four horses, when 
twice the number could scarce do it before. But as 
thi-i." adds the sagacious writer, " is a story only, it 
is left to the reader, to judge at pleasure." iV. 13. 
This is the second instance of a miracle wrought in 
favour of our hero ! 

In Goughs Sepulchral Monuments^ p. cviii. is " tl)c 
figure of the stone over the grave of Robin Hood 
[in Kirklccs ])ark, being a plain stone with a sort of 
cross fleurce thereon] now broken and much defaced, 
the inscription illegible. That printed in Thorcsby 
Ducat. Leod. 576, from Dr. Gale's papers, Avas never 
on it.' The late Sir Samuel Armitage, owner of 
the premises, caused the gi'ouud under it to be dug 
a yard deep, and found it had never been disturbed ; 
so that it was probably brought from some other 
plate, and by vulgar tradition ascribed to Robin 
Hood'' (refers to " Mr. "Watsons letter in Antiquary 
MMJety minutes"). This is probably tlic tomb-stone of 
Kli/.abcth de Staynton, mentioned in the preceding note. 

Tlie obi ei)itaph is, by some anonymous hand, in a 
work entitled '■'■ Sepulchrorum inscriptiones ; or a 
curious collection of 1)00 of the most remarkable 
epitaphs," Westminster, 1727, (vol. ii. p. 73.) thus 
not inelegantly paraphrased . 

" Here, underneath this little stone, 
Thro' Death's assaults now licth one, 
Known hy the name of Itobin Hood, 
AVho was a thief, and arelicr good ; 
roll thirtcon (r. thirty) years, and somcth big more. 
He robh'd tlic rich to feed the poor : 
Tiicrcfore, liis Kravc bedew witli tears. 
And offer for Jiis soul your prayers."-' 

' That dates, about this i)iM-iod, were frequently by hhs 
and kalends, secMudoxes Fur inula re Aiu/licantun, (Disser- 
tiitliin) p. XXX. 

* That this epitaph bad been printed, or was well known 
at Iwist, loiiK before the publication of Mr. 'I'hore^bys 
book, if not before either lie or Dr. fiale was born, «i)poars 
from the " true talc of Hobin Hood" by .Alartin I'urker, 
writtvu, if )i(it printed, ju» oiu-iy as UVM. (Sir vohune 1. p. 
127.) Thu Arabic fij;urcs must luivc been inserteil by the 
eopylht for the lloniau numerals ; otherwise there will be 
im end of its pretension to authenticity. (\. J). The note 
in the preceilinr/ juifje teas detached from the present by 

' In •' The travels of Tom Thumb over Kn^lund nnd 
\\'ftle«" [by Mr. Jtobcrt Dodsley], p. 1(H;. is another thoui;h 
inferior vcrhion. 

" Here, under this memorial stfme, 
Lieu Hubert carl of Huntingdon ; 

(w) " Various dramatic exhibitions."] The eariycst 
of these performances now extant is, " The playc ot 
Robyn Hode, very jiroper to be played in Mayc 
games," which is inserted in tlic appendix to this 
work, and may probably bo as old as the 1 5th cen- 
tury. That a different l)lay, however, on the same 
subject has formerly existed, seems pretty certain 
from a somcwliat curious passage in " The famous 
chronicle of king Edward the first, sirnamed E<lward 
Longshankes, ^c." by George Peelc, i)rintcd in 1593. 

•• Lluellen wecle get the next daie from Brcck- 

nocke the dookk ok Robin Hood, the frier he shall instruct 
us in his cause, and weelc even here . . . wander like 
irrcgulcrs up and down the wildemesse, lie be maister of 
misrule, ilc be Robin Hood that once, cousin ' Rice,' thou 
shalt be lilUe John, and hers frier David, as fit as a die for 
frier Tuckc. Now, my sweet Nel, if you will make up the 
mcssc with a good heart for maide Marian, and doe well 
w ith Lluellen under the green-woode trees, with as good ii 
wil as in the good towncs, why plena est curia. Exeunt. 

Enter Mortimor, solus. 

Mortimer Mftistcrs, have after gentle Robin Hood, 

You are not so well accomijanicd I hope, 

I?ut if a potter come to plaie his part, 

Youle give him stripes or welcome good or worse. Exit. 

Enter IJiiellen, Meredith, frier, Elinor, and their 
traine. Thci/ are all clad in grceiic, &c. sirig, &r. 
Blyth and bonny, the song ended., Lluellen speaketh. 

Lucllen. Why so, I see, my mates of oldc. 
All were not lies that Hedlams [beldiuns] told ; 
Of Robin Hood and little .John, 
Frier Tucko and maide Mariim." 

IMortimer, as a potter, afterwards iiglits the frier 
with " flailes." 

2. " The downfall of Robert carlo of Huntington 
afterward culled Robin Hood of nierric Sherwodde : 
with his love to chaste INIatilda, the lord Fitzwatcrs 
daughter, afterwardcs his faire maide Marian. Acted 
by the right honourable, the carle of Notingham, lord 
high admirall of England, his servants. ^ Imprinted at 
London, for William Leake, 1601." 4to. b. 1. 

3. " The death of Robert, carle of Huntington, 
otherwise called Robin Hood of nicrrie Sherwodde : 
Avith tlic lamentable tragedic of chaste Matilda, hi> 
faire maid Marian, poysoned at Dunmowe. by king 
John. Acted, ^c. ^ Imprinted, <!jc. [as above] 1601." 
4to. b. 1. 

These two plays, usually called the Jirst :\nA second 
part of Robin Hood, were always, on the authority 
of Kirkiuan, falsely ascribed to Thomas Heywood, till 
Mr. Malonc fortunately retrieved the names of the 
true authors, Anthony Mundy and Henry Chcttlc* 

As he, no archer e'er was good. 
And people call'd him Robin Hood ; 
Such outlaws as his men and he 
Again may England never see." 

' In "a large folio volume of accounts kept by Mr. 
I'hilip Hent^lowe, who ai>pcarK to have been proprietor 
of the Rose theatre near the Banksidc in Southwark,'* ho 
has entered— 

" Vvh. " The first part of Robin Hood, by Anthony 

\r,97i^. ISIundy. 

The second part of the downfall of earl Hunt- 
ington, sirnamed Robinhood, by Anthony 
IVIundy and Henry Chettlo." 

In a subsequent pai{e is tlie following entry: " Lent unto 
Robarte Shawo, the 1» of Novemb. l."i;)fl, to letid unto Mr. 
Uheattle, upon the mending of the Jirsl part of liobart 




As tlicy seem partly founded on triiditions long since 
forgotten, and refer occasionally to documents not now 
to be found, at any rate, as they arc much older than 
most of the common ballads upon the subject, and 
contain some curious and possibly authentic particulars 
not elsewhere to be met with, the reader will excuse 
the particularity of the account and length of the 
extracts here given. 

The first part, or downfall of Robert earl of 
Huntington, is supposed to be peiformed at the court 
and command of Henry the 8th ; the poet Skelton 
being the dramatist, and acting the part of chorus. 
The introductory scene commences thus : 

'•'•Enter sir John Ell am, and- hnoche at Skeltons 

Sir John. IIowCj maister Skelton ! what, at studie 
hard ? 

opens the doore. 

Shelt. ■Welcome and wisht for, honest sir John Eltam, — 
Twill trouble you after your great affairs, 

(i. c. the surveying of certain maps tohich his 
majesty had employed him in ,-) 
To take the paine that I intended to intreate you to, 
About rehearsall of your promis'd play. 

Elt. Nay, master Skelton ; for the king himselfe, 
A.S wee were parting, bid mee take great heede 
Wee faile not of our day : therefore I pray 
Sende for the rest, that now we may rehearse. 

Skel. O they are readie all, and drest to play. 
What part play you ? 

Elt. Why, I play little John, 
And came of purpose with this greene sute, 

Skel. Holla, my masters, little John is come. 

At every doore all the players runne out ,• some 
crying Avhere.'^ where .'^ others Welcome, sir Jolui : 
among other the hoyes and clownc. 

Skd. Faith, little Tracy, you are somewhat forA\'ard, 
What, our maid Marian leaping like a lad ! 
If you remember, Robin is your love. 
Sir Thomas Mantle yonder, not sir John. 

Clou: But, master, sir John is my fellowc, for I am 
Much the millers sonne. Am I not ? 

Skel. I know yee are sir : — 
And, gentlemen, since you are thus prepar'd, 
Goe in, and bring your dunibe scene on the stage, 
And I, as prologue, purpose to expresse 
The ground whereon our historic is laied. 

Exetmt, maiiet Skelton. 
Trumpet soundc, [1] enter first king Jiichard with drum 
and auncient, giving Ely a purse and sceptre, his mother 
and brother John, Chester, Lester, Lacic, others at the kings 
appointment, doing reverence. The king goes in : presently 
Ely ascends the chaire, Chester, John, and the queene 
pai't displeasantly. [2] 'Enter Robert, earle of Hunt- 
ington, leading Marian: followes htm Warman, and 
after Warman, the prior ; Warman ever flattering, and 
making curtsie, taking gifts of the prior bchinde and his 
master before. Prince John enters, offereth to take Marian; 
Queen Elinor enters, offering to pull Robin from her,- but 
they inofklc each other, and sit doione within the curteines. 
[3] Warman, with the prior, sir Hugh Lacy, lord Sentloe, 
and sir Gilbert Broghton foldc hands, and drawing the 
curteins, all (but the prior) enter, and are kindely received 
by Robin Hoode." 

Durmg the exhibition of the second part of the 

Hoode, the svmi of x s." and afterwards — "For mending 
of Robin Hood for the corte." Sec Maloncs edition of 
" The plays and poems of William Shakspeare," 17'J0. vol. 
I. part II. (Emendations and additions.) 

dumb-shew, Skelton iubtructs the audience as fol- 
lows : — 

* ' This youth that leads yon virgin by the hand 
Is our earle Robert, or your Robin Hoode, 
That in those dales, was earle of Huntington ,• 
The ill-fac't miser, brib'd in either hand, 
Is Warman, once the steward of his house. 
Who, Judas like, betraies his liberall lord, 
Into the hands of that relentlesse prior, 
Calde Gilbert Hoode, uncle to Huntington. 
Those two that seeke to part these lovely friends. 
Are Elenor the queene, and John the prince. 
She loves earle Robert, he maide Marian, 
But vainely ; for their deare affect is such, 
As only death can sunder their true loves. 
Long had they lov'd, and now it is agreed, 
This day they must be troth-plight, after wed : 
At Huntingtons faire house a feast is nelde. 
But envie turnes it to a house of teares. 
For those false guestes, conspiring with the prior ; 
To whom earle Robert greatly is in debt. 
Means at the banquet to betray the earle. 
Unto a heavie writ of outlawry : 
The manner and escape you all shall see. 

Looke to your entrance, get you in, sir John. 

My shift is long, for I play frier Tucke ; 

Wherchi, if Skelton hath but any lucke, 

lleele thanke his hearers oft with many a ducke. 
For many talk of Robin Hood that never shot in his bowe, 
But Skelton writes of Robin Hood what he doth truly 

After some Skeltonical rimes, and a scene bet\A'ixt 
the prior, the sherif, and justice Warman, concerning 
the outlawTy, which appears to be proclaimed, and 
the taking of earl Huntington at dinner, '•'■Enter 
Robin Hoode, little John following him ; Robin 
having his napkin on his shoulder, as if hee were 
sodainly raised from dinner.'''' He is in a \aolent 
rage at being outlaAved, and Little John endeavours to 
pacify him. Marian being distressed at his apparent 
disorder, he dissembles with her. After she is gone, 
John thus addresses him : 

" Now must your honour leave these mourning tunes, 
And thus by my areede you bluill provide ; 
Your plate and jewels ile straight packe up. 
And toward Notingham convey them hence. 
At Rowford, Sowtham, Wortley, ITothersfield, 
Of all your cattell mony shall be made. 
And I at Mansfield will attend your comming ; 
Where weele determine which waie's best to take. 

Rob. AVell, be it so, a gods name, let it be; 
And if I can, Marian shall come with mcc. 

John. Else care Avill kill her ; therefore if you plcabe. 
At th' utmost corner of the garden wall, 
Soone in the evening waite for Marian, 
And as I goe ile tell her of the place. 
Your horses at the Bell shall readie bee, 
Imeane Belsavage.i whence as citizens 
That 'meane' to ride for pleasure some small way, 
You shall set foorth." 

The company now enters, and Robin charges them 
with the conspiracy, and rates their treacherous pro- 

1 That is, the inn so called, upon Ludgate-hill. The 
modern sign, which however seems to have been the same 
200 years ago, is a bell and a wild man ; but the original 
is supposed to have been a beautiful Indvan ; and the 
inscription La belle sauvage. Some, indeed, assert that 
the inn once belonged to a lady Arabella Savage ; and 
others, that its name, originally The bell and savage, 
arose (like The George and blue boar) from the junction 
of two inns, with those respective signs. Non nostrum est 
tantas componerc lites. 



reeding. Little Jolin in attempting to remove the 
poods is set upon by Wannan and tlic slierif; and 
during tlio fray " Enter prince John, Ely, and the 
prior, and others." Little John tells the prince, he 
but defends the box containing his own gettings; upon 
which his royal highness observes, 

" You do the fellow wrong ; his goods are his : 
You only must extend u])on the carles. 

Prior. Tliat was, my lord, hut nowe is Robert Hood, 
A simple yeoman a* his servants were." 

Ely gives the prior his commission, with directions 
to make speed, lest " in his country-houses all his 
heards be solde;" and gives Warman a patent "for 
the high shcriftovick of Nottingham." After this, 
" Enter Robin like a crtizen ;" and then the queen 
and Marian disguised for each other. Robin takes 
Marian, and leaves the queen to piince John, who is 
80 much em-aged at the deception that he breaks the 
head of Elys messenger. Sir Hugh, brother to lord 
Lacy, and steward to Ely, who had been deeply con- 
cerned in Iluntingtons ruin is killed in a brawl, by 
prince John, whom Ely orders to he arrested ; but the 
prince, producing letters from the king, revoking Elys 
appointment, " lifts up his dra\\'ne sworde" and " Exit, 
cum Letter and Lacy" in triumph. Then, " Enter 
Robin floode, Matilda, atone door, little John, and 
Much the millers aonne at another doore." After 
mutual congratulations, Robin asks if it be 

" possible that Warmans spite 

Should stretch so farre, that he doth hunt the lives 

Of bonnie Scarlet, and his brother Scathlock. 

Much. O, I, sir. "Warman came but yesterday to take 
charge of the jaile at Notingham, and this dale, he saies, 
he will hang the two outlawes. . . . 

Jiob. Now, by my honours hope, - . . 
He is too blame : say, John, where must they die ? 

John. Yonder's their mothers house, and here the tree, 
AVhereon. pnore men, they must forgoe their lives; 
And yonder comes a lazy lozell frier. 
That is appointed for their confessor. 
Who, wlien we brought your monio to their mothers. 
Was wishing her to patience for their deaths." 

Here " Enter frier ' Tvcke ; " some conversation 
passes, and the frier skeltonizes; after which he 
departs, saying. 

let us goe our way, 

Unto this hanging busincsse ; would for moe 
Some rescue oi- rcprceve might set them free. 

Rofi. Ileardst thou not, little .Jolin, the friers spcach 7 

John. He scemes like n good fellowe, my good lord. 

Hob. He's a good fellowo, John, upon my word. 
Lend me thy home, and get thee in to IMueh, 
And when I blowe this home, eomo both and helpe mee. 

John. Take heed, my lord : the villane Warman knows 
And ten to one, lie Imth a writ iigninst you. [vcn, 

Rob. Fear not : below the bridge a poor blind man doth 
With him I will change my habit, and disguise, [dwell. 
Only be readie when I call for yee, 
For I will mivo their lives, if it may bea . . . 

Enter Ifarmnn, Scarlet and Scnthlorh houndr, 
frier Tuck as their confessor, officers with hal- 

War. Master frier, be briefe, delay no time. 
Bcarlot and Scatloek, never hope for lif«?; 
Here \h the place of execution. 
And you must answer lawe, for what ie done. 

Hear. Well, if there be no remcdie, we must : 
Though it ill seemeth, Warmnn, thou shouldst bee. 
So bloodie to pursue our livcb thu» cruel lie. 

Scat. Our mother sav'd thee from the gallows, Wainiuu, 
His father did priferre thee to thy lord : 
One mother had wee botli, and both our fathers 
To thee and to thy father were kinde friends. . . . 

War. Ye were first outlaws, then ye prooved theevos 
Both of your fathers were good honest men ; 
Your mother lives their widowe in good fame : ' 
But j-ou are scapethrifts, unthrifts, villanes, knaves. 
And as ye liv'd by shifts, shall die with shame." 

To them enters Ralph, the sherifs man, to acquaint 
him that the carnifex, or executor of the law, had 
fallen off his "curtail" and was "cripplefied" and 
rendered incapable of performing his office ; so that 
the sherif was to become his deputy. The sherif in- 
sists that R.'dph shall serve the turn, which he refuses. 
In the midst of the altercation, " Enter Robin Hood, 
like an old man," who tells the sherif that the two 
outlaws had murdered his young son, and undone 
himself ; so that for revenge sake he desires they may 
be delivered to him. They denying the charge, " Robin 
whispers with them," and with the sherifs leave, and 
his mans help, unbinds them : then, sounds his horn ; 
and " Enter little John, Much . . . Fight ; the 
frier, making an if he helpt the sherijf'e, knnckm 
downe hi.<i men, crying, Keepe the kings peace. Shenffe 
[perceiving that it is " the outlawed earle of Hun- 
tington"] runnes away, and his men." (See the 
ballad of " Robin Hood rescuing the widows sons," 
part H. num. xxiii.) 

" Fri. FarcAvell, earle Robert, as I am true frier, 
I had rather be thy clarke, than serve the prior. 
Rob. A jolly fellowe ! Scarlet, knowest thou him ? 
Scar. Hee is of Yorke, and of Saint Maries cloister ; 
There where your greedie uncle is lord prior. . . . 

Rob. Here is no biding, masters ; get yee in. . . . 
John, on a sodaine thus I am resolv'd. 
To keepe in Sherewoodde tille the kings retume. 
And being outlawed, leade an outlawes life. . . . 
John. 1 like your honours purpose exceeding well. 
Rob. Nay, no more honour, I pray thee, little John ; 
Henceforth i will be called Robin Hoode, 
Matilda shall be my maid Marian." 

Then follows a scene betwixt old Filzwater and 
prince John, in the course of which the piince, as a 
reason to induce Fitzwater to recall his daughter 
Matilda, tells him that she is living in an adulterous 
state, for that 

" — Huntington is excommunicate. 

And till his debts be paid, by Homes decree. 

It is agieed, absolv'd he cannot be : 

And that can never be.— So never wife, ftc.** 

Fitzvi-ater, on this, flies into a passion, and accuses the 
prince of being already marr} ed to ^' carlo Chepstowes 
daughter." They '•\fuiht ; Johnfallrs." Then entei 
llic queen, <^c. and John sentences Fitzwater to banish- 
ment: after which, " Enter Scathhcke and Scarlet, 
winding their homes, at severaU doores. To 
them enter Robin lloode, Matilda, all in greenc, 
. . . Much, little John ; all the men with bowea 
and arrotves. - 

Rob. Wind once more, jolly htintsmen, all your horns. 
Whose shrill sound, with the ecehoing wods H-ssiHt, 

1 She is called the widow Scarlet: so that Scathlock » 
was t\w elder brother. In fact, however, it was mere 
Ignorance in the author to suppose the Scathlocke and 
Scarlet of the story distinct persons, the latter name being 
an evident corruption of the former: Scathlock, Scadlock, 
Scar lock, Scarlet. 

K In '• The hooke of the inventary of the goods of my 
lord admcra.lea men tacken the 10 of Marche in the yeare 



Shall ring a sad knell for the fearefull deere, 
Before our feathered shafts, deaths winged darts. 
Bring sodaine summons for their fatall ends. 

Scar. Its ful seaven years since we were outlav/ed first, 
And wealthy Sherewood was our heritage ; 
For all those yeares we raigned uncontrolde. 
From Barnsdale shrogs to Notinghams red cliffes. 
At Blithe and Tickhill were we welcome guests , 
Good George a Greene at Bradford was our friend, 
And wanton Wakefields pinner lov'd us well.' 
At Bamsley dwels a potter, tough and strong, 
That ne\ er brookt we brethren should have wrong. 
The nunnes of Farnsfield (pretty nunnes they bee) 
Gave napkins, shirts, and bands to him and mee. 
Bateman of Kendall gave us Kendall greene ; 
And Sharpe of Leedes sharpe arrows for us made. 
At Rotherham dwelt our bowyer, god him blisse, 
Jackson he hight, his bowes did never misse. 
This for our goode, our scathe let Scatlilocke tell, 
In merry Mansfield how it once befell. 

Scath. In merrj' Mansfield, on a wrestling day, 
Prizes there were, and yeomen came to play. 
My brother Scarlet and myselfe were twaine : 
Many resisted, but it was in vaine, 
For of them all we wonne the mastery, 
And the gilt wreathes were given to him and me. 
Thereby sir Doncaster of 'Kothersfield,' 
We were bewraid, beset, and forst to yield ; 
And so borne bound, from thence to Notingham, 
AVTiere we lay doom'd to death till Warman came." 

Some cordial expressions pass between Robin and 
Matilda. He commands all the yeomen to be cheer- 
ful ; and orders little John to read the articles. 

♦' Joh. First, no man must presume to call oui* master. 
Byname of earle, lorde, baron, knight, or squire : 
But simplj^ by the name of Robin Hoode. — 

That faire Matilda henceforth change her name, 
< And ' by maid Marians name, be only cald. 

Thirdly, no yeoman following Robin Hoode 
In Sherewod, shall use widowe, wife, or maid, 
But by true labour, lustfull thoughts expell. 

Fourthly, no passenger with whom ye meete, 
Shall yee let passe till hee with Robin feaste : 
Except a poast, a carrier, or such folke, 
As use with foode to serve the market townes. 

Fiftly, you never shall the poore man wrong. 
Nor spare a priest, a usurer, or a clarke. 

Lastly, you shall defend with all your power 
Maids, widowes, orphants, and distressed men. 

All. All these we vowe to keepe, as we are men. 

Eob. Then wend ye to the greenewod merrily, 
And let the light roes bootlesse from yee runne, 
Marian and I, as soveraigns of your toyles. 
Will wait, within our bower, your bent bowes spoiles. 

Exeunt ivinding their homes.'" 

In the next scene, we find frier Tucke feignedly 
entering into a conspiracy with the prior and sir 
Doncaster, to serve an execution on Robin, in disguise. 
Jinny, the widow Scarlets daughter, coming in, on her 
way to Sherwood, is persuaded by the frier to accompany 
him, " disguised in habit like a pedlers mort." Fitz- 
water enters like an old man : — sees Robin sleeping 
on a green bank, Marian strewing flowers on him ; pre- 

159B," are the following properties for Robin Hood and his 

retinue, in this identical play : 

''Item, vi grene cottes for Roben Hoode, and iiii knaves 

ttem, i hatte for Robin Hoode, i hobihorse. 
Item, Roben Hoodes sewte. 
Item, the fryers trusse in Rolen Hoode." 

Malones Sh-ak. II. ii. (Emen. & ad.) 

' George a Greene and Wakefields idinner, were one and 

the same person. The shoemaker of Bradford is anonjnnous. 

tends to be blind and hungry, and is regaled by them. 
In answer to a question why the fair Matilda (Fitz- 
waters daughter) had changed her name, Robin tells 
him it is 

" Because she lives a spotlesse maiden life : 

And shall, till Robins outlawe life have ende. 

That he may lawfully take her to wife ; 

Which, if king Richard come, will not be long." 

" Enter frier Tucke and Jinny like pedlers singing," 
and afterward " Sir Doncaster and others weaponed." 
— The frier discovers the plot, and a fray ensues. The 
scene then changes to the court, where the prior is 
informed of six of his barns being destroyed by fire, 
and of the different execrations of all ranks upon hito, 
as the undoer of " the good lord Robert, earle of 
Huntington ; " that the convent of St. Marys had 
elected '■'• Okie fixther Jerome" prior in his place : and 
lastly a herald brings his sentence of banishment, 
which is confirmed by the entrance of the prior. 
Lester brings an account of the imprisonment of his 
gallant sovereign, king Richard, by the duke of Austria, 
and requires his ransome to be sent. He then intro- 
duces a description of his matchless valour in the holy 
land. John not only refuses the I'ansom money, but 
usurps the stile of king : upon which Lester grows 
furious, and rates the whole company. The following 
is part of the dialogue : 

"Joh. (to Lester) Daresfthou attempt thus proudly in 
our sight ? 
1 Lest. AVhat is't a subject dares, that I dare not ? 

Salf. Dare subjects dare, their soveraigne being by ? 
I Lest. O god, that my true soveraigne w:ere ny ! 
I Qu. Lester, he is. 

Lest. Madam, by god, you Ij-. 

Chest. TJnmanner'd man. 

Lest. A plague of reverence ! " 

After this, and more on the same subject, the scene 
returns to the forest; M'here Ely, being taken by 
Much, " like a countryman with a basket," is examined 
and detected by Robin, who promises him protectioa 
and service. On their departvire : 

" Joh. Skelton, a worde or two beside the play. 

Fri. Now, sir John Eltam, what ist yon would g&y. 

JJwn. Methinks I see no jeasts of Robin Hoode, 
No merry morrices of frier Tuck, 
No pleasant skippings up and downe the woddc. 
No hunting songs, no coursing of the bucke: 
Pray god this play of ours may have good lucke. 
And the king's majestie mislike it not ! 

Fri. And if he doe, what can we doe to that ? 
I promis'dhim a play of Robin Hoode, 
His honorable life, in merry Sherewod ; 
His majestie himselfe survaid the plot, 
And bad me boldly write it, it was good. 
For merri/ jeasts, they have bene shotvne befcn-e ; 
As how the frier fell into the well. 
For love of Jinny, thatfairehonny bell .- 
Hotv Greeneleafe rob'd the shrieve of Notingham, 
And other mirthful matter, full of game." 

" Enter Warman banished.^' He laments his fall, 
and applies to a cousin, on whom he had bestowed 
large possessions, for relief ; but receives nothing, ex- 
cept reproaches for his treachery to his noble master. 
The jailor of Nottinghanx, who was indebted to him 
for his place, refuses him even a scrap of his dogs 
meat, and reviles him in the severest terms. Good- 
wife Tomson, whose husband he had delivered from 
death, to his great joy, promises him a caudle, but 
fetches him a baiter ; in which he is about to hang 

YoL. U 




himself, upon some tree in the forest, but is prevented 
bv Fitzwaier and s^onic of Robin Hoods men, who 
crack a number of jokes upon him : Robin puts an 
end to their mockery, and jirofTcrs him comfort and 
favour. Then enters flier Tuckc, with an accoimt of 
sir Doncastcr and the prior being striped and wounded 
in their way to Bawlrcy : Robin out of love to his 
uncle hastens to the place. After this, '' Enter prince 
John, solus, in green, botce and arroiues. 

John. ANTiy tliis is somewhat like, now may I sing, 

As did the AVakofield pindor in his note ; 

At Michachnascommoth my covenant out, 
My master gives me my fee : 

Then Robin He wcare thy Kendall preenc. 

And wend to the greenewodde with thee." • 

He assumes the name of Woodnet, and is detected 
by Scathlocke and frier Tucke. The prince and Scatli- 
locke light, Scathelocke grows weary, and tlie frier takes 
his place. Marian enters, and iwrcciving the frier, parts 
the combatants. Robin enters, and John submits to 
him. Much enters, running, with information of the 
approach of " the king and twelve and twenty score 
of horses." Robin places his people in order. The 
trumpets sound, the king and his train enter, a general 
pardon ensues, and the king confirms the love of Robin 
and Matilda. Thus the i>lay concludes, Skelton pro- 
mising /he second part, and acquainting the audience 
of what it should consist. 

The second part, or death of Robert earle of 
Huntington, is a pursuit of the same story. The 
scene, so for as our liero is concerned, lyes in Sher- 
wood. A few extracts may not be unacceptable. 

" Sc. Hit. IVinde homes. Enter king, queene, 
^c. Frier Tuck carrgijig a stags head, dauncing."" 
The frier has been sent for to read the following in- 
scription upon a copper ring round the stags neck : 

" Wlien Harold TTare-foote raignod king, 
About my necke he put this ring." 

The king orders " head, ring and all " to be sent to 
Nottingham castle, to be kept for monuments. Fitz- 
water tells him, he has heard "an olde talc," 

«• That Harold, being Goodwin's sonne of lvcnt,.« 
Hunted for pleasure once within this wood, 
And singled out a faire and stately staggo, 
Whicli, foote to foote, the king in running eauglit ; 
And sure this was the staggo. 

Kiiiff. It was no doubt. 

Chester. Hut some, my lord, affirmo. 
That Julius Ca?8ar, many years before. 
Tooke such a stagge, and such a poesie writ : '" ' 

"Sec the ballad of "The jolly pinder of Wakefield," 
Part H., Num. lU. 

2 Fitzwater confounds one men with another ; Harold 
HarefoDt was the son and succes-sor of Canute the great. 

3 This tradition is referred to, and the inscription given 
In Mr. Hays Jtiiierurirs, I7()t». p. l''-*' — " Wo rode through 
abushet or eomnion called Kcid well-hake, two miles fmm 
Locds, whore (according to the vulgar tradition) was once 
found a Ktag, with a ring of brass about its nock, having 
this inserii>tion : 

"When Julius CtvBtir hero was king. 
About my neek he put this ring : 
W'lioHoevei- doth me take. 
Let me go for (/'.csar's sake." 

In The midiri/e, or Old woman's maxjazine, (vol. i. p. 
26«.) Mrs. Midnight, in a letter '* To the venorablo society 
of antiquariunh," containing a description of Ca»ars camp, 

Upon which his majesty very sagaciously retuarxa, 

" It should not be in Julius Caesars time: 
There was no English used in this land 
Untill the Saxons came, and this is writ 
In Saxon characters." 

The next quotation may be of service to Dr. Percy, 
who has been pleased to question our hcros nobility, 
because " the most ancient poems make no mention 
of this earldom," and the old legend expressly asserts 
him " to have been a yeoman."'' It is very true ; and 
we shall here not only find Ins title established, but 
aho discover the secret of his not being usually distin- 
guished or designed by it. 

''Enter Roben IlooJe. 
King. How now, earle Robert ! 
Fri. A forfet, a forfct, my liege lord, 
^fy masters lawes aic on record. 
The court-roll here your grace may see. 
Kitiff. I pray thee, frier, read them mee. 
Fri. One shall suffice, and this is bee. 
JVo ma7i that eonnncth in this wod. 
To feast or dwell tcith Robin Hood, 
Shall call him e^rle, lord, knight, or squire, 
lie no siicli titleS'doth desire. 
But Robin Hood, plain Robin Hoode, 
That honest yeoman, stout and good. 
On paine offorfMing a 7narkc, 
That must be paid to mee his clarke. 
My liege, my liege, this lawe you broke. 
Almost in the last word j'ou spoke ; 
That crime may not acquitted bee. 
Till frier Tuck receive his fee." 
Now, the reason that " the most ancient poems 
make no mention of this earldom," and the old legend 
expressly asserts him " to have been a yeoman,'* 

on AVindsor foi-est, has the following passage; "There 
have been many extraordinary things discovered about 
this camp. One thing, I particularly remember, was a 

deer of about sixteen liundred years old This deer 

it seems was a favourite of Cscsnr's, and on that account 
he bedecked her neck with a golden collar and ;m inscrip- 
tion, which I shall by and by take notice of; she had been 
frequently taken, but when tho hunters, the peasants and 
poor people saw the golden collar on her neck, they readily 
let her go again. However, as she continually increased in 
strength and in bulk, as well as in age. after the course of 
about fifteen or sixteen centuries, the flesh and skin were 
entirely grown over this collar, so that it could not be 
discovered till after she was kill'd, and then to the sur- 
prise of the virtuosi, it appeared with this inscription : 

When Julius C.xsar reigned here. 

Then was I a little deer ; 

If imy man should me take. 

Let uio go for Caesar's sake, 
" This collar, which is of ])urc gold, I am told weighs 
thirty ounces, and as the blood of the creature still appears 
fresh upim it, I believe it may be as valuable as any of 
your i/imcracl-s ; however, there will be no harm in my 
sending of it to you ; and if I can procure it, you may de- 
pend on my taking the utmost care of it." As no notice 
is announced of this wonderful piece of antiquity in the 
voluminous and important lucubrations of the above 
learned body, it most probably never came into their pos- 
session ; wliich is very nnich to bo lamented, as it would 
luivc been an admirable companion for Ilardccmttes 
chandni'-]wt, and other similar curiosities. 

The original of all these stories is to be found in Pliny, 
who says: "It is generally held and eonfcsst^d that the 
stagge or hind live long ; for an hundred yeer after Alex- 
ander the great, some were taken M-ith golden collars 
about their necks, overgrowne now with hairc, and growne 
witliin the skin : which collars the said king had done upon 
them." Naturall hittorie (by Holland! , 1601. (B. 8. c. 32.) 



! appears, plainly enough, to be, that as, pursuant to 
his own injunction, he was never called, cither by his 
followers, or in the vicinity, by any other name than 
Robin Hood, so particularly the minstrels, who were 
always, no doubt, welcome to Sherwood,' and liber- 
ally entertained by him and his yeonianry, would take 
special care never to offend against the above law : 
which puts an end to the dispute. Q. E. D. 

Our hero is, at length, poisoned by a drink which 
Doncastcr and the prior, his uncle, had prepared for 
him to give to the king. His departing scene, and last 
dying speech are beautiful and pathetic. 

" Roh. Inough, inough, Fitzwater, take your child. 
My dying frost, which no sunnes heat can thawe, 
Closes the powers of all my outwavcl parts ; 
My freezing blood runnes back unto my heart, 
Where it assists death, which it would resist : 
Only my love a little hinders death, 
For he beholds her eyes, and cannot smite. 

Mat. let mee looke for ever in thy eyes. 
And lay my warme breath to thy bloodlesse lips, 
If my sight can restraine deaths tyrannies. 
Or keep lives breath withm thy bosome lockt." 

He desires to be buryed 

" At Wakefield, underneath the abbey- wall ; 

directs the manner of his funeral ; and bids his yeomen, 

«* For holy dirges, sing ' him ' wodmens songs." 

The king, upon the earls death, expresses his sorrow 
for the tragical event ; ratifies the Avill ; repeats the 
directions for the funeial ; and says. 

Fall to your wod-songs, therefore, yeomen bold. 
And deck his herse with flowers, that lov'd you deere. 

The whole concludes with the following solemnc 
dirge : 

«' Weepe, weepe, yew^od-men waile. 
Your hands with sorrow wring ; 
Your master Robin Hood lies deade. 
Therefore sigh as you sing. 

Here lies his primer, and his beades, 
His bent bowe, and his arrowes keene. 
His good swordeand his holy erosse : 
Now cast on flowers fresh and greene. 

And, as they fall , shed teares and say. 
Well a, well a day, well a, well a day ! 
Thus cast yee flowers and sing, 
And on to Wakefield take your way." 

The poet then prosecutes the legend of Matilda, who 
is finally poisoned, by the procurement of king John, 
in Dunmow-priory. 

The story of thi^ ^lady, whom the author of these 
plays is supposed to have been the first that converted 
into the chai-acter of maid Marian, or connected in any 
shape -with the history of Robin Hood, is thus related 
by Stow, under the year 1213: "The chronicle of 
Dunmow sayth, this discord arose betwixt the king 
and his barons, because of Mawd called the faire, 

1 Robin, in the old legend, expresses his regard for this 
order of men (concerning which the reader may consult 
an ingenious " Essay "in the Eeliques of ancient English 
poetry, (vol. I.) and some '• Observations" in a collection 
of Ancient songs, printed in 1790): 

" Whether he be messengere. 

Or a man that myrtJies can, 
Oryf he be a pore man. 

Of my good he shall have some." 

daughter to Robert Fitzwalter, whome the king loved, 
but her father would not consent ; and thereupon 

ensiicd warre throughout England Whilst Mawd 

the faire remayned at Dunmow, there came a messen- 
ger unto her from king John about his suite in love, 
but because she wouid not agi'ee, the messenger 
poysoned a boyled oi p' tched cgge against she was 
hungric, whereof she died " (AiuialeSy 1592.) Two 
of Draytons heroical epimles pass between king John 
and Matilda. He has also written her legend. 

4. "Robin Hood's penn'orths, by Wm. Haughton."- 

5. " Metropolis coronata, the triumphs of ancient 
drapery : or, rich cloathing of England, in a second 
yeeres performance. In honour of the advancement 
of sir John Jolles, knight, to the high office of lord 
maior of London, and taking his oath for the same 
authoritic, on Monday being the 30. day of October, 
16! 5. Perfomied in heanie affection to him, and at 
the bountifull charges of his worthy brethren the 
truly honourable society of drapers, the first that 
received such dignitie, in this citie. Devised and 
written by A. M. [Anthony Mundy] citizen and 
draper of London." 1615. 4to. 

This is one of the pageants formerly usual onliord- 
maj'ors-daj", and of which several are extant, wi'itten 
as well by our author Mundy, ^ as by Middleton, 
Dekker, Hcywood, and other hackney dramatists of 
that period. Tliey were thought of such consequence 
that the city had for some time (though probably not 
till after the restoration) a professed laureat for th«jr 
composition ; an office which expired with Elkanah 
Settle in 1723-4. They consisted chiefly of machinery, 
allegorical or historical personages, songs and speeches. 

" After all these shewes, thus ordered iu ti.'cir 
appointed places, followeth another device of huntsmen, 
all clad in gTccne, with their bowes, arrowes and 
bugles, and a new slaine deere, carried among tbtcm. 
It savoureth of earle Robert de la Hude sometime 
the noble earle of Huntington^ and sonne in iaw 
(by marriage) to old Fitz-Alwine.,* raised by the 
muses all-commanding power, to honour this triumph 
with his father. During the time of his oul^Iawed 
life in the forest of merry Shirwood, and elsewhere, 
while the cruel oppression of a most imnatural and 
covetous brother hung heavy upon him, Gilbert de la 
Hude lord abbot of Cbristall [r. Kirkstali] abbey, 
who had all or most of his lands in mortgage : he 
was commonly called Robin Hood, and had a gallant 
company of men (out-lawed in the like manner) that . 
followed his downecast fortunes ; as little John, Scatlij- 
locke, Much the millers son, Right-hitting Brand, 
fryar Tuck, and many more. In which condition 
of life we make instant use of him, and part of his 
brave bowmen, fitted with bowes and arrowes, of the 
like strength and length, as good records deliver 

2 This play is entered in master Henslowes account- 
book with the date of December 1600. See Malones Shak- 
speare. Vol. IL Part n= (Emen. & ad.^ 

3 '* The triumphes of reunited Britannia. A pageant 
in honour of su- Leonard HoUiday lord mayor." 1605. 

* Henry Fitz-Alwine Fitz-Liefstane, gold-smith, first 
mayor of London, was appointed to that ofBce by K. 
Richard I. in 1189, and continued therein till the 15th of 
K. John, 1212, when he " deceased, and Avas burled in the 
priorie of the holy trinitie, neare unto Aldgate." (Stows 
Survay, 1598. p. 418.) His relationship with Robin Hood 
is merely poetical, and invented by Mundy "for the 
nonce ; " though it is by no means improbable that they 
w^ere acquainted, and that our hero might have occasion 
ally dined at the mansion-house on a lord-mayors day. 





testimonic, were then used by them io their killing of 

Afterward, [viz. after " Fitz-Al wines speech to the 
lord maior at night,"] a<; occasion best prcsenteth it- 
selfe, when the heate of all otlicr employments are 
calmly overpast, eurle Robin Hood, with fryer Tuck, 
and his other brave huntes-mcn, attending (now at 
last) to discharge their duty to my lord, which the 
busie turmoile of the whole day could not before 
affoord : they shewc themselves to him in this order, 
and carlo Robin himselfe thus spcaketh. 

The speech spoken by earl Robert de la Hude, com- 
monly called Robin Hood. 
Since graves may not tlieir dead containc 
Nor in their peaceful! sleepcs remaine, 
But triuniphes and great showcs must use thcni, 
And wc unable to refuse them ; 
It joycs me that earle Robert Hood, 
Fetcht from the forrcst of merrie Shirwood, 
With these my yeomen tight and tall, 
Brave huntsmen and good archers all. 
Must in this joviall day partake, 
Prepared for your honours sake. 
No sooner was i raysde from rest, 
And of my former state possest 
As while i liv'd, but being alone, 
And of my yeomen seeing not one. 
I with my bugle gave a call, 
Made all the woods to ring withall. 
Immediately came little John, 
And Scathloek followed him anon. 
With Much the honest millers sonne ; 
And ere ought else could be done, 
The frolicke frier came tripping in, 
Hi heart upon a merrie pinne. 
Master (quoth he) in yonder brake, 
A deere is hid for ISIarian's sake. 
Bid Scathloek, John, or honest Brand, 
That hath tlio happy hitting hand, 
Shoote right and have him : and see, my lord, 
Tlie deed performed with the word. 
For Robin and his bow-men bold. 
Religiously did ever holde, 
Not emptie-handed to be scene, 
Were't but at feasting on a greenc ; 
Much more then, when so high a day 
Calls our attendance : all we may 
Is all too little, 'tis your grace 
To winke at weakenesse in this case, 
So fearing to be over long, 
End all with our old hunting-song. 

The song of Robin Hood and his huntes-men. 
Now wend we together, my merry men all. 

Unto the forrent side a : 
And there to strike a buck or a doae, 

Let our cunning all be tride a 

Then goe we merrily, merrily on, 

T(» the greenwood to take up oiir stand [a]. 

Whore we will lye in waite for our game. 
With our best Ixjwcs all m our hand [a]. 

What life is there like to bold Robin Hood ? 

It is HO pleasant n thing a : 
In merry Shirwood he spends his dayes, 

Ah pleasantly ns a king a. 

No man may conifjare with bold Robin Hood. 

Witli Itobin Hood, Seatlihtcke and John [a] : 
Their like was never, nor never will be, 

If In case that thoy were gone a. 

They will not away from merry Shirwood, 

In aJiy place else to dwell [a] : 
For tlicre In neither city nor towoe. 

That likes them half so well L»]. 

Our live.'^ arc wholly given to hunt, 

And l)aunt the merry grcene-wood [a] ; 

TVhere our best service is daily spent, 
For our master Robin Huod [a]." 

G. "Robin Hood and his pastoral May games." I G24. 

7. " Robin Hood and his crew of soldiers," 1627. 

These two titles are inserted among the plays men- 
tioned by Chetwood, in his British theatre, (p. 67.) 
as written by anonymous authors in the 16th century 
to the restoration. But neither Langbaiue, wlio 
mentions both, nor any other person, pretends to have 
ever seen either of them. Tlic former, indeed, may 
possibly be " The playe of Robyn Hode," already 
noticed ; and the other is probably a future article. 
Langbaiue, it is to be observed, gives no date to either 
piece ; so that, it may be fairly concluded, those above 
spccifyed are of Chetwoods own invention, which 
appears to have been abundantly fertile in every species 
of forgery and imposture, 

8. " The sad shepherd, or a tale of Robin Hood." 
The story of our renowned archer cannot be said to 

have been wholely occupyed by bards without a name; 
since, not to mention Mundy or Drayton, the celebrated 
Ben Jonson intended a pastoral drama on this subject, 
under the above title; but dying, in the year 1637, 
before it was finished, little more than the two first 
acts has descended down to us. His last editor (Mr. 
Whalley), while he regi-ets that it is but a fi-agTucrit, 
speaks of it in raptures, and, indeed, not Avithout 
evident reason, many passages being eminently poetical 
and judicious. 

^ The persons of the play," so far as concerns ou» 
immediate purpose, are: [1] "■'Robin Hood, the chief 
woodman [i. e. forester], master of the feast. [2] 
Marian, his lady, the mistress. [3] Friar Tuck, the 
chaplain and steward. [4] Little John, bow-bearer. 
[5, 6] Scarlet, Scathloek,' two brothers, lumtsmen. 
[7] George a Green, huishcr of the bower. [8] Mucl;, 
Robin Hoods bailiff or acater." The rest are, the 
guests invited, the witch of Paplewick, her daughter, 
the swin'ard her son, Puck Hairy or Robin Good- 
fellow, their hind, and lastly a devout hermit. " The 
scene, Sherwood, consisting of a landscape of a forest, 
hills, v,alleys, cottages, a castle, a river, pastures, herds, 
flocks, all full of country simplicity ; liobin Ilood.-i 
boicer, his well, &c." " The ai-gument of the fii-st 
act" is as follows ; " Robin Hood, having in\Tted all the 
shepherds and shepherdesses of the vale of Bc'voir to 
a feast in the forest of Sherwood, and trusting to his 
mistress, nuiid Marian, with her woodmen, to kill him 
venison against the day ; having left the like charge 
with friar Tucic his chaplain and steward, to command 
tlie rest of his merry men to seethe bower made ready, 
and all things in order for the entertainment : ' meets* 
with his guests at their entrance into the wood, and 
conducts them to his bower : where, by the way, he 
receives the relation of the sad shf.pherd iEgla 
mour, who is fulh n into a deep melancholy for the 
loss of his beloved Isarine, rc])orted to liavc been 
drowned in passing over the Trent, some few days 
before. ... In the mean time Marian is come from 
hunting. . . . Robin Hood enquires if she hunted the 
deere at force, and what sport he made ? how long he 
stood f and what head he bore ? .ill which is briefly 
answered, witl» a relation of breaking him up, and the 
raven, and her bone. The suspect had of that raven 

Jonson was led into this misL-xke by the old play of 
Robin Hood. See before, p. 17. 


to be Maudlin die Avitcli of Paple\vick, -whom one of 
the hunstmen met i' the morning at the rouzing of the 
deer, and is confirmed by her being then in Robin 
Hoods kitchen, i' the chimney corner, broiling tlie 
same bit which was thrown to the raven at the quany 
or fall of the deer. Marian, being gone in to shew the 
deer to some of the shepherdesses, returns discon- 
tented ; sends away the venison she had killed to her 
they call the witch; quarrels with her love Robin 
Hood, abuseth him, and his guests the shepherds; 
and so departs, leaving them all in wonder and per- 

By " the argument of the second act" it appears 
that the witch had " taken the shape of Marian to 
abuse Robin Hood, and perplex his guests." How- 
ever, upon an explanation of the matter with the true 
Marian, the trick is found out, the venison recovered, 
and " Robin Hood dispatcheth out his woodmen to 
hunt and take her : which ends the act." The third 
act was designed to be taken up with the chace of the 
Avitch, her various schemes to elude the pursuers, and 
the discovery of Earine in the smneherds enchanted 
oak. Nothing more of the authors design appearing, 
we have only to regret the imperfect state of a pastoral 
drama, Avhich, according to the above learned and in- 
genious editor, would have done honour to the nation. '- 

9. "■ Robin Hood and his crev/ of souldiers, a comedy 
acted at Nottingham on the day of his saCRed ma- 
jesties corronation. Vivai rex. The actors names : 
Robin Hood, commander ; Little John, William Scad- 
locke, souldiers; messenger from the sherifFe. London, 
printed for James Davis, 1661." 4to. 

This is an interlude, of a few pages and no merit ; 
alluding to the late rebellion, and the subject of the 
day. The outlaws, convinced by the reasoning of the 
sherifs messenger, become loyal subjects. 

10. " Robin Hood. An opera, as it is performed at 
Lee's and Harpers great theatrical booth in Bartho- 
lomew-fair." 1730. 8vo. 

IL "Robin Hood." 1751. 8vo. 

This was a ballad-farce, acted at Drury-lane theatre ; 
in which the following favourite song was oi'iginally 
sung by Mr. Beard, in the character of Robin Hood. 

As blithe as the linnet sings in the green wood, 

So blithe well wake the morn ; 
And through the wide forest of merry Sherwood 

We'll wind the bugle horn. 

The sheriff attempts to take bold Robin Hood, 

Bold Robin disdains to fly ; 
Let him come when he will, we'll, in merry Sherwood, 
Or vanquish, boj's, or die. 

Our hearts they are stout, and our bows they are good, 

As well their masters know ; 
Tliey're eull'd in the forest of merry Sherwood, 

And never will spare a foe. 

Our arrows shall drink of the fallow deer's blood. 

We'll hunt them all o'er the plain ; 
And through the wide forest of merry Sherwood, 

No shaft shall fly in vain. 

Brave Scarlet, and John, who ne'er were subdu'd. 

Give each his hand so bold ; 
We'll range through the foi-est of merry Sherwood, 

What say my hearts of gold ? 

1 This play appears to have been performed upon the 
stage after the restoration. The prologue and epilogue 
(spoken by Mr. Portlock) are to be found in num. 1009 of 
the Sloane MSS. It was republished, with a continuation 
and notes, by Mr. Waldron, of Drury-lane theatre, in 1783. 

12. " Robin Hood ; or, Sherwood forest: a comic 
opera." As " performed at the theatre- royal in Co vent- 
garden. By Leonard Mac Nally, esq." 17H4. 8vo. 

This otherwise insignificant performance was embel- 
lished with some fine music by Mr. Shield. The 
melody of one song, beginning, 

" I've travers'd Judah's barren sands," 

is singularly beautiful. It has been since reduced to, 
and is still frequently acted as, an after-piece. 

A drama on the subject of Robin Hood, under the 
title of The foresters^ has been long expected from 
the elegant author of The school for scandal. The 
first act, said to have been written many years ago, is, 
by those who have seen or heard it, spoken of with 

(x) — " innumerable poems, rimes, songs and bal- 
lads."] The original and most ancient pieces of this 
nature have all perished in the lapse of time, during a 
period of between five and six hundred years con- 
tinuance ; and all we now know of them is that such 
things once existed. In the Vision of Pierce Plow- 
man., an allegorical poem, thought to have been com- 
posed soon after the year 1360, and generally ascribed 
to Robert Langeland, the author introduces an ignorant, 
idle and drunken secular priest, the representative, 
no doubt, of the parochial clergy of that age, in the 
character of Sloth, who makes the following confession: 

" I cannot parfitli mi paternoster, as the priest it singeth. 
But I can ryms of Roben Hode, and ' Randolf erl of 

But of our lorde or our lady I lerne nothyng at all."2 

Fordun, the Scotish historian, who WTote about 
1340, speaking of Robin Hood and Little John, and 
their accomplices, says, " of whom the foolish vulgar 
in comedies and tragedies make lewd entertainment, 
and are delighted to hear the jesters and minstrels sing 

- 1st edit. 1550, fo. xxvi., b. (liandoZ/' is misprinted 
Rand of.) Subsequent editions, even of the same year, 
reading only " Randall of Chester," Mr. Warton (Hls- 
tory of English poetry, ii. 179.) makes this genius, whom 
he calls a, frier, say, "that he is well acquainted with 
THE rimes of Randall of Chester ;" and these rimes he, 
whimsically enough, conjectures to be the old Chester 
Whitsun-plays ; which, upon very idle and nonsensical 
evidence, he supposes to have been written by Randa 
Higden, the compiler of the Polychronicon. Of course, if 
this absurd idea were at all founded, the rimes of Robin 
Hood must likewise allude to certain Yorkshire or Not- 
tinghamshire plays, written by himself. The " Randolf 
erl of Chester " here meant is Randal Blundevile, the last 
earl of that name, who had been in the holy land, was a 
great warrior and patriot, and dyed in 1231. 

The reading of the original edition is confirmed by a 
very old manuscript, in the Cotton library, ( Vespasian, 
B. XVI.) differing considei'ably from the printed copies, 
which gives the passage thus : 
" I can nouzt perfitli my pater-noster as a prest hit 

sjTigeth : 
I can rymesof Robyn Hood, of Rondolf erl of Chestre, 
Ac of oure lorde ne of cure ladi the leste that ever was 

(See also Caligula, A. XI.) 

The speaker himself could have told Mr. Warton he was 
no frier .- 
I have ben prieste & person passj-nge thyrty winter. 
Yet can I nether solfe, ne singe, ne sayntes lyves read ; 
But I can find in a fielde or in a furlong an hare, 
Better than in Beatus vir or in Beati omnes 
Construe one clause well, & kenne it to my parishens." 



thciu above all other liallacls :" ' ami Mair (or Major), 
whose history w-as pul.lishcd hy himself in 1521, ob- 
serves that " The exploits of this Robert arc celebi-ated 
in soiigs tliroiiglioiit all Britain."'- So, likewise, 
Hector Bois (or Boelhiiis), \vho wrote about tiic same 
period, having mentioned " that waithmau Robert Ilodc 
with iiis fallow litil Jolme," adds, "of quhom ar 
niony fabillis and mery s))orlis sonng amang the vulgar 
jx'pyll."'' Whalcver may have been the nature of tlie 
compositions alluded to by the above writers, several 
of tlie pieces printed in the present collection arc un- 
questionably of great antiquity ; not less, that is, than 
bi'tween three and four hundred years old. The Lylell 
gcstCy which is first inserted, is probably the oldest 
thing upon the subject avc now possess;^ but a legend, 
a;>parently of the same species, was once extant, of, 
perha])S, a still earlyer date, of which it is sonic little 
satisfaction to be able to give even the following frag- 
ment, from a single leaf, fortunately preserved in one 
of the volumes of old printed ballads in the British 
tuuseuui, in a hand-writing as old as Henry the Gths 
time. It exhibits the characters of our hero and his 
fidtis Achates in the noblest point of view. 
♦' He snyd liobyn Hod .... ync the prcson, 
And owght ofl" hit was gon. 

1 •' De quibiis stolidiiin viili/us himdcr in comwdils cL 
tra<iiii!iis pruriaitcr /csium faciunt, S; siiijcr cctcras 
' romancias' vximos Sf bardanos canlitare delectaiUm:'' 
Sct^tichronieon {a llcarne), p. 774. Comedies and troffedies 
sure — not dramatic compobitions, but— poems of u comic or 
ecrious cast. Romance in Spanish, and i-omancr, in French, 
signify — not a talc of cbivahy, but — a vulgar ballad, at 
this day. 

2 " JiebusJfujiis Roberli pestis tola Britannia In canlibtis 
uUtur." Ulajoris Britannia? historia, Edin. 174(1. p. 128. 

^ History of Scotland, tianslatcd by maister Johne Bel- 
lendenc, Edin. i54I. fo. The word " w;iithman " was pro- 
bably suggested to the translator by Andrew of Wyntowns 
'• Orj'gj-nalc cronykil," written about 1420, which at the 
year 1283 has the following lines : 

" Lytil .Thon and llobync lludc 
AVayth-mcn were commcndyd gud : 
In Yngil-wodc and IJarnysdale 
Thai oysyd all this tymc tharc trawale." 

It seems equiv.alcnt to the English vagabond, cv, per- 
haps, OHtlaiJD. Wuitli is u-aif; and it is to be rcmcm- 
bei-ed that, in the technical language of the English courts, 
;i noman is said to be u-aived, and not oiillatccd. 

'■ Of this poem tlicrc have been, at least, four editions, 
pertiaps more. In "an old book in black letter in the 
advocates library [Edinburgh], sent to the faculty by a 
gentleman from Ayrshire in 1788," are " Fourteen loaves 
of flttfi, &c. of Robyn Hood, with a print of him on horse- 
back ; over which " •] Here bcginncth a gcst of llobyn 
Hodc." (Sec Ames's Typographical antiquities, by Her- 
bert, p. 1815.) Most of the pieces in this volume appear to 
have been printed " bo Walter C'hepman and Andrew 
Alillar in the South-gait of Edinburgh," in or about 1508. 
The above imperfect "gette of Itobyn Hodc" is (conjectured 
to b(; an edition of the old poem in (juchtiou ; but all 
endr-uvours to procure a sight of or extract fnmi it have 
pn^ved un.suceeshful, though the editor even took a jtun-- 
nny to Edinbui-gh chiefly for the purposo, and received 
every poHHible degree of attention and civility from the 
wonhy librarian : (he book having been now detjiiiied out 
of 'he library for .some years, llobcne Hude and litil 
Jlione " occurs among the tales enumerated in Wed 
dorbuiTiH Ciinipfnintc of Scotland, printed at Saint-Au- 

drows, in 1.(45). In a lint of " bookoa printed, and 

sold by Jane Hell, at the east end of [1().V)]," 
hi company with Vrier Rush, The frier and the boy, &e. 
is " a b(K)k of Kobiii Hood and Little John." Captain Cox 
of Coventry appears to liavc had a copy of some old 
edition; see I.jinehHm8 Letter from Killiu<ncorth, ir>7:>. 

The porter rose a-non ecrtcyn, 
As sonc as he hard Johan call; 

Lytyll Johan was redy with a sword. 
And bare hj-m tlii-ow to the walL 

Now will I be jaylcr, sayd lytyll Johan, 

Andtokc the keys in bond ; 
He toke the way to llobin Hod, 

And sonc he hymc unbond. 

He gafTc hym a good swerd in his bond, 
His hed ther-with for to kcpe; 

And ther as the wallis wer lowest. 
Anon down ther they lepe. 

To Robj-n 

sayd : 

I have done the a god torne for an . . 

Quit me when thow may; 
I have done the a godc torne, said lytyll [Johan j, 

Foi-sothe as I the sayc ; 
I have browghtc the under the gren wod . 

Fiu-ewell 6i. have gode daye. 

Nay, be my trowthc, sayd Robyn, 

So sehall it nevCr bee ; 
I make the master, sayd RobjTi, 

Off all my men & me. 
Nay, be my trowthc, sayd lytyll Johan, 

So sehall it never bee." 

This, indeed, may be part of the "story of Robin 
Hood and little John," which M. Wilhclm Bedwell 
found in the ancient MS. lent liim by his much 
honoured good fiiend M. G. Withers, whence he ex- 
tracted and published " The turnamcnt of Tottenham,'* 
a poem of the same age, and which seemed to hiiVi to 
be done (perhaps but transcribed) by sir Gilbert Pilk- 
ington, formerly, as some had thought, parson of that 
parish. 5 

That poems and stories on the subject of our hero 
and his com])unions were cxtniordinanly popular and 
common before and during the sixteenth century is 
evident from the testimony of divers writers. Thus, 
Alexander Barclay, priest, in his translation of The 
shyp of folys, first printed by Pynson in l.')08, after- 
ward by AVynkeu de "NVorde in 1517, and lastly by 
John Cawood in 1570, says: 

" I write nojcstCToe talc of Robi.s Hood." 

" Forgoo<llie scripture is not worth aiihawe, 
Hut tales arc loved ground of ribaudry ; 
And many arc so blinded with their foly. 
That no scriptur thinke they so true nor gode, 
As his a foolish Jest of Uoni.v IIode." 

Again : 

" And of all fables and Jestes of Rodin Hoon." 
Or other trifles." 

The same Barclay, in the fourth of his EyloyeSy 
subjoined to the last edition of The ship of foleSy 
but originally printed soon after 1500, has the fol- 
lowing passage : 

" Yet would 1 gladly hearc some mery ft 
Of MAiuK Marion, or els of Roion Hood, 
Or IJenteleycs ale, which chafeth well the blood, 
Of I'erte of Norwich, or Sauce of Wilbcrton, 
Or bnekishc Joly <■> well stuffed ;is a ton." 

" '• Description of the town of Tottcnham-high-erosse, 
he" London, (1U.-J1, 4to.) 171«, 8vo, 

6 .Mr. Wurton reads Toby ; and so, perhaps, it may ba 
in former editions. 




Robert Braham, in his epistle to the reader, prefixed 
to Lydgates Troy-book^ 1555, is of opinion that 
" Caxtons rccueil " [of Troj] is "• worthye to be 
numbred amongest the trifelinge tales and barrayne 
luerdries of Robyn Hodr and Bevys of Hampton." 
(See Ames's Typographical antiquities^ by Herbert, 
p. 849.) 

"For one that is sand blynd," says sir Thomas 
Chaloner, " -woulde take an asse for a moyle, or 
another prayse a rime of Robyn- Hode for as excellent 
a making as Troylus of Chaucer, yet shoulde they not 
straight- waies be counted niadde therefore.'^" (Eras- 
mus's Praise of folye, sig. h.) 

" If good lyfe," observes bishop Latimer, " do not 
insue and folovve upon our readinge to the example of 
other, we myghte as well speude that tyme in reading 
of prophnne hvstories, of Canterburye tales, or a fit of 
RoEEN HoDE." {^Sermons, sig. A. iiii.) 

The following lines, from a poem in the Hyndford 
MS. compiled in 1568, afford an additional proof of 
our heros popularity in Scotland : 

" Tliair is no story that I of heir, 
Of Johne nor Robene Hude, 
Nor zit of Wallace wicht but weir, 
That me thinkes half so gude, 
As of thre palmaris, &:c." 

That the subject was not forgotten in the succeeding 
age, can be testifyed by Drayton, who is elsewhere 
quoted, and in liis sixth eclogue makes Gorbo thus 
address " old Winken de Word :" 

" Come, sit we down under this hawthorn-tree, 
The morrows light shall lend us day enough, 
And let us tell of Gawen, or sir Guy, 
Of Robin Hood, or of old Clem a Clough." 

Richard Johnson, who wrote " The histoiy of Tom 
Thumbe," in prose, (London, 1621, 12mo. b. 1.) thus 
prefaces his work : " My merry muse begets no tales 
of Guy of Warwicke, ^c. nor wll I trouble my penne 
with the pleasant glee of Robin Hood, little John, 
the FiiYER, and his Marian ; nor will I call to mind 
the lusty PiNDErt. of Wakefield, ^c." 

In " The Calidonian forrest," a sort of allegorical 
or mystic tale, by John Hepwith, gentleman, printed 
in 1641, 4to. the author says, 

" Let us talke of Robin Hoode, 
And little John in merry Shirewoode, &c." i 

Of one very ancient, and undoubtedly once very 
popular, song this single line is all that is now known 
to e.v^ist : 

"aaDfttii ^antf in ^SanistJalc ^tofllf." 

However, though but a line, it is of the highest autho- 
rity in Westminster-hall, where, in order to the decision 

1 Honest Barnaby, who wrote or traveled about 1640, 
T^-as well acquainted with our heros story. 

" Veni Nottingham, tyrones 
Sherwoodenses sunt latrones, 
j^nstar Robin Hood, 4" servi 
Sesi~rlet 4 Joaiinis Parvi ; 
Passu^, sparsim, peculantur 
Cellis, t''i/ivis deproidantur. 

'* Thence to Nottingham, where rovers. 
Highway rici'ers, Sherwood drovers, 
Like old RoMi^ Hood, and Scarlet, 
Or like Little Jo,'?-'"' bis vsu'let ; 
Here and there th».;'y shew them doughty, 
In cells and woods tC get their booty." 

of a knotty point, it has been repeatedly cited, in the 
most solemn manner, by grave and learned judges. 

M. 6 Jac. B. R. Witham v. Barker. Yelv. 
147. Trespass, for breaking plaintifs close, ^c. 
Plea^ Lihernm tenementum of sir John Tyndall, 
and justification as his servant and by his command. 
Replication, That it is true it is his freehold, but that 
long before the time when ^c. he leased to plaintif at 
will, who entered and was possessed until, ^c. tra- 
versing, that defendant entered, ^c. by command of 
sir John. Demurrer: and adjudged against plaintif, 
on the ground of the replication being bad, as not 
setting forth any seisin or possession in sir John, out 
of which a lease at will could be derived. For a title 
made by the plea or replication should be certain to 
all intents, because it is traversable. Here, therefor, 
he should have stated sir Johns seisin, as well as the 
lease at will ; which is not done here : " ntCS tOUt 
Ult come il U^t Xt^Mt Robin Whood in Barnwood 

stood, absque hoc q tizt }j c0mma!Ttfemciit jStr 

John. Quod nota. Per Fenner, Williams ft Crook 

]uiXiu4 ^ale tn taiivt. ©t jwtigment tfcfne 
accflrtrant. Yelv. p XfcL" 

In the case of Bush v. Leake, B. R. Trin. 23 
G. 3. Buller, justice, cited the case of Coulthurst v. 
CouUhurst, C. B. Pasch. 12 G. 3. (an action on 
bond) and observed " There, a case in Yelverton was 
alluded to, where the court said, You might as well 
say, by way of inducement to a traverse, Robin Hood 
in Barnwood stood.^^ 

It is almost unnecessary to observe, because it will 
be shortly proved, that Barnwood, in the preceding 
quotations, ought to be Barnsdale." With respect 
to Whood, the reader will see, under note (p), a 
remarkable proof of the antiquity of that pronun- 
ciation, which actually prevails in the metropolis at 
this day. See also the word " whodes" in note (gg). 

This celebrated and important line occurs as the 
first of a foolish mock-song, inserted in an old morality, 
intitled " A new interlude and a mery of the nature of 
the iiii elementes," supposed to have been printed by 
John Rastall about 1520 ; where it is thus introduced: 

" Hu[rnanyte]. let us some lusty balet sjiig. 

Yng\jiorance\. Nay, syr, by the hevyn kyng : 
For me thynkyth it servyth for no thyng. 
All suche pevysh prykeryd song. 

2 There is, in fact, such a place as Barnwood forest, in 
Buckinghamshire ; but no one, except Mr. Hearne, has 
hitherto supposed that part of the comitry to have been 
frequented by our hero. Barnwood, in the case reported 
by Yelverton, has clearly arisen from a confusion of 
BarnsdiaXe and green wocd. ". Robin Hood in the green- 
wood stood" was likewise the beginning of an old song 
now lost (see VIH.— " Robin Hood and Allin a Dale," &c., 
infra) : and it is not a little remarkable that JefFeries, 
Serjeant, on the trial of Pilkington and others, for a 
riot, in 1683, by a similar confusion, quotes the line in 
question thus : 

" Robin Hood upon Greendale stood." 

(State-trials, iii. 634.) 

The following most vulgar and indecent rime, current 
among the peasantry in the north of England, may have 
been intended to ridicule the perpetual repetition of 
" Robin Hood in greenwood stood :" 

Robin Hood 

In green-wood stood, 

With his back against a tree ; 
He feU fiat 
Into a cow-plat, 

And all beshitten was he. 




Hu. Pes, man. pryk-auiR may notbcdyspysyd. 
For tlionvitligod is well picsyd. 

1 '.7. 

Is god well pleasyd, trowcst thou, thcrby ? 
Nay, nay, for tliere is no reaeon why. 
Tor is it not as good to say playrJy 
Gyf me a spade, 

As gyf me a spa vc va ve va ve vade ? 
But yf thou wylt have a song that is good, 
1 have one of Robyn IIode, 
The best that ever was made. 
Then a fcleshyp, let us here it. 
Hut there is a bordon, thou must here it. 
Or cUys it wyll not be. 
Tl»an bcgyn, and care not for . . . 
Downc downe downe, Sac. 

Kobjni Tlode in Barnysdale stode, 
And lent hym tyl a mapyll thystyll ; 
Thaia cam our lady & swete saynt Andrcwe ; 
Slcpyst thou, wakyst thou, Geffrey Coke? ' 

A c. wynter the water was dope, 
I can not tell you how brode ; 
He toke a goso nek in his hande. 
And over the water he went. 

lie start up to a thystell top, 
And cut hym downe a holyn clobbe ; 
He stroke the wren betwene the hornys. 
That fyre sprange out of the pyggcs tayle. 

Jak boy is thy bow i-broke, 
Or hath any man done the wryguldy wrange ? 
He plukkyd muskyllys out of a wyllowe. 
And put them in to his saehell. 

Wylkyn was an archer good. 
And well coude handell a spade ; 
He toke his bend bowe in his hand, 
And set him downe by the fyre. 

He toke with him Ix. bowes and ten, 
A pese of befe, another of bakcn. 
Of all the byrdes in mery Englond, 
So merely pypys the mery botcU." 

All the entire poems and songs kno^^^l to be extant 
wiil be found in the following collection ; but many 
more may be traditionally preserved in different parts 
of the country -wbicb would have added considerably 
to its value. 2 That some of these identical pieces, or 

' It is possible that, amid these absurdities, there may 
be other lines of the old song of Kobin Hood, which is the 
only reason for reviving them. 

•' O slecpst thou, or wakst thou, Jeffcry Cooke ?" 

occurs, likewise, in a medley of a similar description, in 

* In The yenlleman's magazine, for December, 17f)0, is 
the first vorsc of a song used by tlio inhabitants of Ilclston 
in Cornwall, on the celebration of an annual festivity on 
tliecjglith of .May, called tlie Fitrry-dni/, supposed Floras 
day, not, it is imagined, *'as many have thought, in 
renic'nbrancc of some festival instituted in honour of that 
KoddcsH, but rather from the garlands commonly worn on 
that day." (Sec the same publication for Juno and Oc- 
tober, i;ao.) This verso was the whole tliat Mr. Urbans 
corrcpimdcnt could then recollect, but he thought ho 
might be afterward able " to send all that is known of 
it, for," lie says, " it formerly was very long, but is now 
much foigotten." Tlio stanza is as follows : 
•' Hobin Hood and Little John 
Tlicy arc botli gone to fair O ; 
And we will go to tlie merry green-wood, 
To see what thoy do tliere O. 
Willi )k1 hh tow, 
AncJ rum-be-low. 

others of the like nature, were great favourites with 
the common people in the time of queen Elizabeth, 
though not much esteemed, it would seem, by the 
refined critic, may, in addition to the testimonies 
already cited, be infcrcd from a passage in Webbes 
Discourse of English poelrie, printed in l.')86. " If 
I lettc passe," says he, •' the unaccountable nibble of 
ryming ballet-makers, and compylcrs of scncclesse 
Sonets, who be most busy to stuffe every stall full of 
grossc devises and unlearned pamphlets, I trust I shall 
with the best sort be held excused. For though many 
such can frame an alehouse-song of five or score 
verses, hobbling uppon some tunc of a northern jygge, 
or RoBYN HooDK, or La lubber, &c. and pcrhappcs 
observe just number of sillablcs, eyght in one line, sixe 
in an other, and thcrewithall an A to make a jercke in 
the cnde, yet if these might be accounted poets (as it 
is saydc some of them make meanes to be promoted to 
the lawrcll) surely we shall shortly have whole swarmes 
of poets; and every one that can frame a hooke in 
ryme, though, for want of matter, it be but in com- 
mendations of copper noses or bottle ale, wyll catch at 
the garlande dur io poets : whose potticall (poeticall, I 
should say) headcs, I woulde wyshe, at their worship- 
full comcncemcnts, might, in stecdc of lawrcll, be 
gorgiously garnished with fayre greene barley, in token 
of their good affection to our Englishe malt." The 

And ohearily we'll get up. 

As soon as any day O, 

All for to bring the summer home, 

The summer and the May O." 

" After which," he adds, " there is something about the 
grey goose wing; from all which," he concludes, '* the 
goddess Flora has nothing to say to it." She may have 
nothing to say to the song, indeed, and }et a good deal 
to do with the thing. But the fact is that the first eight 
days of May, or the first day and the eighth, seem to have 
been devoted by the Celtic nations to some great reli- 
gious ceremony. Certain superstitious observances of this 
period still exist in the highlands of Scotland, where it is 
called the Bel-tein; Beltan, in that country, being a com- 
mon term for the beginning of IVIay, as " between the 
Beltans " is a saying significant of t\\c first and eighth days 
of that month. The games of Robin Hood, as we shall else- 
where see, Avere, for whatever reason, always celebrated 
in May.— iV. B. " Hel-an-toto," in the above stanza, should 
be heave and how. Heave and how, and Riimbelow, was 
an ordinary chorus to old ballads ; and is at IcHst as 
ancient as the reign of Edward IL, since it occurs in the 
stanza of a Scotish song, preserved by some of our old 
historians, on the battle of Bannock-burn. 

To lengthen this long note : Among the Ilarleian !MSS. 
(num. 367-) is the fragment of "a tale of Robin Hood 
dialouge-wise bcetweene Watt and Jeffry. The morall is 
the overthroweof theabbyes ; the like being attempted by 
the I'uritane, which is the wolfe, and the politician, which 
is the fox, agaynst the bushops. Robin Hood, busliop ; 
Adam Bell, abbot ; Little John, coUeauges or the ujiivcr- 
sity." This seems to have been a common mode of satyriz- 
ing both the old church and the reformers. In another 
3IS. of the same collection, (N. -207) written about l.')32, is 
a tract intitlcd "The bauHvctt of John the reve, unto 
Peirs Ploughman, Laurens Laborer, Thomlyn Tailyor, 
and Hobb of tlic Hille. with others :" being, as Mr. Wan- 
ley says, a dispute concerning transubstantiation by a 
Roman catholic. The other, indeed, is much more modern : 
it alludes to the indolence of the abbots, and their falling 
off from the original purity in which they were placed by 
the bishops, whom it inclines to praise. The object of its 
satire scorns to bo the Puritans ; but here it is imperfect, 
though tlio lines preserved aro not wholly destitute of 
poetical nu'rit.— " Robin Hood and the duke of Lancaster, 
a ballad, to the tune of Ttte abbot of Canterbury, 1727," is 
a satire on sir Robert Walpolo. 


chief object of this satire seems to he William Elderton, 
the drunken ballad-maker, of whose compositions all 
but one or two have untbrtunately perished.* 
j Most of the songs inserted in the second part of this 

work were common broad-sheet ballads, printed in the 
black letter, Avith wood-cuts, between the restoration 
;iiid the revolution ; though copies of some few have 
I been found of an earlycr date. " Who was the author 
I of the collection, intitlcd Robin Hood's garland^ no 
une," says sir John Hawkins, " has yet pretended to 
guess. As some of the songs have in them more of 
the spirit of poetry than others, it is probable," he 
thinks, " it is the Avork of various hands : that it has 
from time to time been varied and adapted to the phrase 
of the times,'' he says, "is certain." None of these 
songs, it is believed, were ever collected into a garland 
till some time after the restoration; as the earlyest 
that has been met Avith, a copy of which is pre- 
served in the study of Anthony a Wood, was printed 
by \y. Thackeray, a noted ballad-monger, in 1689. 
This, however, contains no more than sixteen songs, 
some' of which, very falsely as it seems, are said to have 
been " never before printed." " The latest edition of 
any Avorth," according to sir John HaAvkins, "is that 
of 1719." None of the old editions of i\\\?, garland 
have any sort of preface : that prefixed to the modern 
ones, of BoAV or Aldermary church-yard, being taken 
from the collection of old ballads, 1723, Avhere it is 
I placed at the head of Robin Hoods birth and breed- 
I ing. The full title of the last London edition of any 
I note is — " Robin Hood's garland : being a complete 
liistory of all the notable and merry exploits performed 
by him and his men on many occasions : To Avhich is 
added a preface, [i. e. the one already mentioned] 
giving a more full and particular account of his birth, 
Sec. than any hitherto published. [Cut of archers 
ahooting at a target.'] 

I'll send this arroAV from my boAv, 
And in a wager will be bound 
, To hit the mark aright, although 

I It Avere for fifteen hundred pound. 

I Doubt not I'll make the Avager good, 

I Or ne'er believe bold Robin ITood. 

; Adorned with twenty-seven neat and curious cuts 

j adapted to the subject of each song. London, Printed 

;!nd sold by R. Marshall, in Aldermary church-yard, 

1 C'hatterton, in his " Memoii's of a sad dog," repre- 
sents " baron Otranto" (meaning, the honorable Horace 
Walpole, now earl of Orford) Avhen on a visit to ' ' sir 
Stentor," as highly pleased Avith Robin Hoods ramble, 
•' melodiously ehaunted by the knight's groom and dairy- 
maid, to the excellent music of a tAvo-stringed violin and 
bag-pipe," Avhich transported him back "to the age of his 
favourite hero, Richard the third ;" Avhereas, says he, 
" the songs of Robin Hood were not in being till the 
reign of queen Elizabeth." This, indeed, may be in a 
great measure true of those Avhich Ave noAV have, but 
there is sufficient evidence of the existence and popula- 
rity of such-like songs for ages preceding ; and some of 
these, no doubt, were occasionally modernised or ncAv- 
Avritten, though most of them must be alloAved to have 

The late Dr. Johnson, in controverting the authenticity 
of Fingal, a composition in Avhich the author, Mr. Mac- 
pherson, has made great use of some unquestionably an- 
cient Irish ballads, said, " He Avould undertake to write 
an epick poem on the story of Robin Hood, and half Eng- 
land, to Avhom the names and places he should mention 
in it are familiar, would believe and declare they had 
heard it from their earliest years." rBoswell's Journal, 
p. 486.* 


BoAv-lane." 12mo. On the back of the title-page is 
the folloAving Grub-street address : 

" To all gentlemen archers." 
" This garland has been long out of repair. 

Some songs being wanting, of which we give account ; 
For now at last, by true industrious care, 

The sixteen songs to twenty-seven Ave mount ; 
Which large addition needs must please, I know. 
All the ingenious • yeomen ' of the bow. 
To read how Robin Hood and Little John, 

BraA-e Scarlet, Stutely, valiant, bold and free. 
Each of them bravelj', fairly play'd the man. 

While they did reign beneath the green-wood tree ; 
Bishops, friars, likewise many more. 
Parted with their gold, for to increase their store, 
But never would they rob or wrong the poor. 

The last scA'cn lines are not by the author of the 
first six, but Avere added afterward ; perhaps Avhen the 
twenty-four songs Avere increased to tiventy-seven.'^ 

(y) — " has given rise to divers proverbs : "] Pro- 
verbs, in all countries, are, generally speaking, of very 
great antiquity ; and therefor it Avill not be contended 
that those concerning our hero are the oldest we have. 
It is highly probable, hoAvever, that they originated in 
or near his OAvn time, and of course have existed for 
upward of 500 years, Avhich is no modern date. They 
are here arranged, not, perhaps, according to their exact 
chronological order, but by the age of the authorities 
they are taken from. 

1. Good even, good Robin Hood. 
The allusion is to civility extorted by fear. It is 
preserved by Skelton, in that most biting satire, against 
cardinal Wolsey, Why come ye not to court ? (Worlcs. 
1736, p. 147.) 

" He is set so hye, 
In his hierarchy. 

That in the chambre of stars 
All matters there he mars ; 
Clapping his rod on the horde. 
No man dare speake a Avord ; 

2 The following note is inserted in the fourth edition of 
the Reliques of ancient English poetry, published in July 
179.5 (vol. I. p. xevii.) : 

«' Of the 24 songs in Avhat is now called ' Robin Hood's 
garland,' many are so modem as not to be found in Pepys's 
collection, completed only in 1700. In the [editors] folio 
MS. are ancient fragments of the folloAving, viz. — Robin 
Hood and the beggar.— Robin Hood and the butcher.— 
Robin Hood and fryer Tucke. — Robin Hood and the pindar. 
—Robin Hood and queen Catharine, in tAvo parts.— Little 
John and the four beggars, and ' Robine Hood his death. ' 
This last, which is very curious, has no resemblance to 
any that have yet been published [it is probably number 
XXVIII. of part I.] ; and the others are extremely dif- 
ferent from the printed copies ; but they unfortunately are 
in the beginning of the MS., A\here half of CA-ery leaf hath 
been torn away." 

As this MS. " contains several songs relating to the civil 
Avar in the last century," the mere circumstance of its 
comprising fragments of the above ballads, is no proof of a 
higher antiquity, any more than its not containing * one 
that alludes to the restoration ' proves its having been com- 
piled before that period ; or than, because some of these 
24 songs are not to be found in Pepys's collection, they are 
more modern than 1700. If the MS. could be collated, it 
Avould probably turn out that many of its contents have 
been inaccurately and unfaithfully transcribed, by some 
illiterate person, from printed copies still extant, and, 
consequently, that it is, so far, of no authority. See the 
advertisement prefixed. 



For ho hath all the saying, 

Without any ronaying: 

IK' rolicth in his recordes, 

lie saith, How sjiy yc, my lordes? 

Is not my reason pood? 

Good even, good Robin Hood '." 

2. Many men talk of Robin Hood that never 
shot in his bow. 

'■'■ Tiiat is, many discourse (or prate rather) of mat- 
tci-s wliercin they have no skill or cx|)criencc. This 
proverb is now extended all over England, though ori- 
;:inally of Notlinqhamshirr extraction, where Robin 
Hood did principally reside in Sherwood foneii. He 
was an arch robber, and withal an excellent archer; 
tliough surely the poet ^ gives a twang to the loose of 
hi.<; arrow, making liim shoot one a cloth-yard 
long, at full forty score mark., for compass never 
higher than the breast, and within less than a foot 
of the mark. But herein our aii'^>or hath verified 
the proverb, talking at large of Robi ' Hood, in whose 
bow he never shot." Fuller's Worif.ies, p. 315. 

"■ One may justly wonder," adds the facetious %\Titcr, 
" this archer did not at last hit the mark, I mean, 
come to the gallows for his many robberies." 

The proverb is mentioned, and given as above, by 
fir Edward Coke in his 3rd Institute, p. 197. See also 
note (x). It is thus noticed by Jonson, in "The king's 
entertainment at "VYalbeck in Nottinghamshire, 1633 :" 

"This is . . . father Fitz-Ale, herald of Derby, &c. 
He can fly o'er hills and dales, 
And report you more odd talcs ' 
Of our out-law Robin Hood, 
That revell'd here in Shcrewood, 
And more stories of him show, 
(Though he m'cr shot hi his buw) 
Than an' men or believe, or know." 

We likewise meet with it in Epigrams, Szc. 1654 : 
"/« Virtutem. 
" Vertue wo praise, but practice not her good, 
(Athenian-like) we act not what we know ; 
So mani/ men doe talk of Robin Hood, 
W?io never yet shot arrow in his bow." 

On the back of a ballad, in Anthony a AVoods col- 
lection, he has written, 

" There bo some that prate 
Of Robin Hood, and of his bow, 
Which never shot therein, I trow." 

Ray gives it thus : 

*' Many talk of Robin Hood, that never shot in his bow, 
And many talk of little John, that never did him 
know ; " 

which Kelly has varyed, but without authority. 

Camdcns ])rinler has sopamtcd the lines, as distinct 
proverbs (T^/'mHm.v, 1 674): 

•• Many Mpeak of Robin Hood that never shot in his bow. 
Many a man talks of littic John that never did him 

This proverb likewise occurs in 7'he downfall of 
Robert earle of Huntington, IfiOO, and seems al- 

• >rr. Warton has miHtaken and mlsprijitcd thiw line so 
as to make it absolute nonsenHc. 

" Irt not my reason good ? 

Good— even good— Robin irood." 

(His. Jin. po. vol. ii.) 

« Drajflons Poly-Olbion, song 26, p. 122. (Supra, p. 2, .3.) 

Inded to in a scarce and curious old tract intitlcd " The 
contention bctwyxte Churchycard and Camcll, upon 
David Dycers Dreame &c." 1560. 4to. b. 1. 

*' Your sodain stormes and thundre elaps, your boasts and 

braggs so loude : 
Hath doone no harrae thogh Robin Hood spake with 

you in a cloud. 
Go Icarne againe of litell Jhon, to shtUc in Rolyn Hods 

Or Dicars dreame shall be unhit, and all his whens, I 

trowe." 3 

The Italians appear to have a similar sajing. 

Molli parlan di Orlando 

CJii non viddero mai suo brando. 

3. To overshoot Robin Hood. 

" And lastly and chiefly, they cry out with open 
mouth as if they had overshot Robin Hood, that 
Plato banished them [?'. e. poets] out of his common- 
wealth." Sir P. Sidneys Defence <f poesie. 

4. Tales of Robin Hood are good [enough] for 

Tliis proverb is inserted in Camdcns Remains, 
printed originally in 1605 ; but the word in brackets 
is supplyed from Ray. 

5. To sell Rohi:i Hoods pennywortlis. 

" It is spoken of things sold under half their value ; 
or if you will, half sold half given. Robin Hood 
came lightly by his ware, and lightly parted therewith ; 
so that he could afford the length of hi'j boiv for a 
yard of velvet. "Whithersoever he came, he carried a 
fair along with him ; chapmen crowding to buy liis 
stollen commodities. But seeing The receiver is as 
bad as the thief, and such buyers civc as bad as re- 
ceivers, the cheap pennyworths of plundered goods 
may i;i _/?rte prove dear enough to their consciences." 
Fuller's Worthies, ]->. 31^. 

This saying is alluded to in the old north-country 
song of Randal a Barnaby : 

" All men said it became me well, 
And Robin Hoods pennyworths I did sell." 

C. Come, turn about, Robin Hood. 

Implying that to challenge or defy our hero must 
have been the ne phts vllra of coumge. It occui-s in 
JVit and drollery, 1661. 

" Oh Love, whose power and might. 
No cr(!aturc ere withstood, 
Thou foreest me to write, 

Come turn about Robin-hood." 

7. As crooked as Robin Hoods bow. 

That is, we are to conceive, when bent by himself. 
The following stanza of a modern Irish song is the 
only authority for this proverb that has been met with. 

" The next with whom I did engage, 
It wa.s an old woman worn with age. 
Her teeth woro like tobacco pegs. 
Resides sho had two bandy legs, 
//(•)• bark more crook'il Ihun Robin Hoods bow, 
I'lirblind and deerepid, unable to go ; 
Altho' her years were sixty three, 
Slie smil'd at the humours of Soosthc Btte." 

•' ^n Ciiurchyards ' 
he tells tho latter : 

'Replication onto Gumels objection, 

Your knowledge is, jtiur judgement is good, 
The most of your study hath bon of ]tohtjn Ho'd , 
And Bevys of Hampton, and syr Launcelotdc Lake, 
Hath taught you full oft your verses to make." 



(•/) — " to swear by hiui, or sonic of his companions, 
api>cars to have been a usual practice."] Tlie earl\ est 
instance of tliis practice occursin a pleasant story among 
*' Certainc merry talcs of the niad-nien of Gottaui,'' 
compiled in the reign of Henry VIII. by Dr. Andrew 
Borilc, an eminent physician of tiiat period, wliich here 
follows verbatim^ as taken from an old edition in black 
letter, williout date, (in the Bodleian library,) being 
tlic first talc in the book. 

"Tiierc Avas two men of Gottam, and the one of 
them was going to the market to Nottingham to buy 
sheepe, and the other came from the market ; and both 
met together upon Nottingham bridge. Well niet, said 
the one to the other. "Whither be yee going? said lie 
that came from Nottingham. jNIarry, said lie that was 
going thither, I goe to the market to buy sheepe. Buy 
sheepe! said the other, and whidi way wilt thou bring 
them home .'' IVIarry, said the other, I will bring tiicm 
over this bridge. By Robin Hood, said he that 
came from Nottingham, but tliou bhalt not. By maid 
Makrion, said he that was going thitherward, but I 
will. Thou shalt not, said the one. I will, said the 
other. Tcr herd said the one. Shue there! said the 
other. Then they beatc their staves against the ground, 
one against the other, as there had beene an liundred 
sheepe betwixt them. Hold in, said the one. Beware 
the leaping -over the bridge of my sheepe, said the other. 
I care not, said the other. They slmll not come tiiis 
way, said the one. But they shall, said the other. 
Then said the other, & if that thou make much to 
doe, I will put my finger in thy mouth. A turd thou 
wilt, said the other. And as they were at their conten- 
tion, another man of Gottam came from the market, 
with a sackc of mcalc upon a horse, and seeing and 
hearing his neighbours at strife for sheepe, and none 
betwi.\t them, said. Ah fooles, will you never learn wit. ^ 
Helpe me, said he that had the meale, and lay my sack 
upon ray shoulder. 1 hey did so ; and he went to the 
one side of the bridge, and unloosed the mouth of the 
sacke, and did shake out all his mcalc into the river. 
Now, neighbours, said the man, how much meale is 
tlicre in my sacke now? Marry, there is none at ali, 
sakl they. Now, by my faith, said he, even as much 
wit is in your two heads, to strive for that thing you 
have not. "Which was the wisest of all these tlircc 
persons, judge you V ' 

"By the bare scalp of Robin Hoods fat frier," 
is an oath put by Shakspcarc into the mouth of one of 
his' outlaws in tlic Tivo goillcmen of Verona^ act 4. 
scene 1. "Robin Hoods fat frier "Is frier; a cir- 
cumstance of which doctor Johnson, who set about 
explaining that author with a very inadcqur.te stock of 
information, was perfectly ignorant. 

(aa) — " his songs have been preferred not only, on 
the Biost solemn occasion, to the psalms of David, but 
in fact to the new testament."] " [(hi Friday, March 
5th. 1733] was executed at NortLampton "William 
Alcock for the murder of his wife. He never owuM 
the fact, nor was at all conccrn'd at his approaching 
death, refusing the prayers and assistance of any pei-sons. 
In the morning he drank more than was sufficient, 
yet sent and paid for a pint of -vrine, which being den y\l 

1 See the original story, in which two brothers, of whom 
one had wished for as many oxen as he saw stars, the 
other for a pasture as wide as the firmament, kill each 
other about the pastm-agc of tlie oxen, (from Camer. opcr. 
subscis. cent. 1. c. 92. p. 4-29,) in Wanlcys Little world of 
man, edition of 1774, p. 420". 

him, he would not enter the cart before he had his 
money return'd. On his way to the gallows he sung 
part of an old song of Rodin Hood, with the chorus, 
Derry, lierry, doivn-, Sj;c. and swore, kiek'd and 
spurn'd at eveiy person that laid hold of the cart; and 
before he was turn'd off, took off his shoes, to avoid 
a Avcll-known proverb ; and being told by a person in 
the cart with him, it was more pioper for him to read, 
or hear somebody read to him, tlian so vilely to swear 
and sing, he struck the book out of the person's hands, 
and went on damning the spectators, and calling for 
wine. Whilst psalms and prayers were performing at 
the tree, he did little but talk to one or otlier, desiring 
some to remember him, others to drink to his good 
journey ; and to the last uioment declared the injustice 
of his case." {Gcnllemaii's mayazinc, volume HI. 
page 154.) 

To this may be added, that at Edinburgh, in 15()5, 
"Sandy Stevin mcnstraU" [i. e. musician] was con- 
vinced of blasphemy, allcdging. That he would give no 
moir credit to The neiv testnvioit then to a tale of 
Rolnn //ooc/, excei)t it wer confirmed be tlic doctours 
of the church." Knox's Hislorie of the reformation 
in Scotland. (Edin. 1732, p. 3GS.) 

William Roy, in a bittci satire against cardinal 
AVolscy, intitled, " Rede me and be nott v/rothe For I 
saye notiiynge but sotiie," printed abroad, about 152^, 
speaking of the bishops, says, — 

" Their frantyke foly is so pevishe. 
That they contempne in EnRlishc, 

To have the new testament ; 
But as for tales of Uolii/n Node, 
With wothei- jcstcs nether lumest nor goodc. 

They have none impediment." 

To the same effect is the following passage in another 
old libel upon the ])r"ests, intitled " I i)laync Pien 
which cannot Hatter, a i)lowc-man men mo call, i*cv' 
b. 1. n. d. printed in the original as prose : 

•« No Christen bookc 
Mayo thou on looke, 

Yf thou be an Knglish strunt. 
Thus dotlic alycns us loutte. 
By that yc s])reade aboute. 

After that old soite and wonte. 
You allowc they saye, 
Legenda aiirca, 

Rohen lf(>ode,liQ\'ys, & Cower, 
And all bagagc by syd, 
But fiods icord je may not abyde. 

These lyese arc your churche ' dower." •"' 

Sec, also, before, p. 22. 

(db) " His service to the word of god."'] " I came 
once niyselfe,'' says bishop Latimer, (in his sixth ser- 
mon before king Edward VI.) "to a jilace, ridiufr on a 
journey homeward fiom London, and 1 sent woid over 
night into the town that I would preach thiTe in the 
morning, because it was a holy day, and mciiiought it 

2 " Derry down is the burden of the old songs of the 
Druids sung by their Hards and Vaids, to call the pcnjilc 
to their religious asseniblys in the groves. Duire in Irish 
(the old Punic) is a grove : corrupted inlo derri/. A famous 
Druid giovc and academy at the phice since called Lon- 
donderri/ from thence." MS. note by Dr. Stukely, in his 
copy of Robin Hoods (jarland. 

3 These two singular articles, with others here quoted, 
arc in the equally curious and extensive library of Ccorgc 
Stecvens, Esq., whose liberality in the communication of 
his literary treasures increases, if possible, with their 
rarity and value. 




\v:i8 an holidayts workc ; tlit thurcli stodc in my ^^■Jly; 
•i!id I tokc n>y horssc and my companyc and went 
Uiithcr ; I thought 1 should have found a great com- 
panye in the churche, and when I came there the 
cbuix-lic dorcwas faste locked. I tarried there half an 
liourt and more, and at last the keyc wjis foundc ; and 
one of the paiishc comuies to mc, and sayes, Syr, thys j 
ys a hus\e day with us, we cannot hearc you; it is 
RoBYN lIooDus DAYE. Tlic ])arishc are gone abroad 
to g;ither for Robyn IIoodf, I pray you let them not. 
I was fayne there to geve place to Robyn IIoode. 1 
thought my rochet should have been regarded, tlioughc 
I were not; hut it wouldc not serve, it was fayne to 
geve place to Robyn Hoodfs mkn. 

It is no laugiiying matter, my fricndcs, it is a wc- 
pyngc matter, a heavy matter, under the pretence for 
gatherynge for Robyn IIoode, atraytoure' and a thefc, 
to put out a preacher, to have his office Icsse cstcmed, 
to prefer Robyn IIod before the mynysti-ation of gods 
word ; and all thys hath come of unpreachynge pre- 
lates. Th}s realme hath been il provided, for that it 
hath had suchc corrupte judgementcs in it, to prefer 
Robyn IIodf, to goddes worde. Yf the bysshoppes 
had bene preachers, there siiolde never have bene any 
such ihynge, c^c." 

(cc) — " may be called the patron of archery."] 
The bow and aiTow makers, in particular, have always 
held his memory in the utmost reverence. Thus, in 
the old ballad of Londons ordinary : 

" The hosiers will dine at the Leg, 

The drapers at the sign of the Brush, 
The fletchers to Robin Hood will go. 

And the spendthrift to Beggars-bush." ' 

The picture of our hero is yet a common sign in the 
country, and before hanging-signs were abolished in 
London, must have been still more so in the city ; 
there being at present, no less than a dozen alleys, 
courts, lanes, ^c. to which he or it has given a name. 
(See Baldwin's Neio complete ffuide, 1770.) The 
Robin Hood Society, a club or assembly for public 
(Ivbate, or school for oratory, is well known. ft 
was held at a public house, whicli had once born the 
sign, and still retai'icd the name of this great man, in 
Butcher-row, near Temple-bar. 

It is very usual in the north of England, for a pub- 
lican, whose name fortunately happens to be John 
Little., to have. the sign of Robin Hood and his con- 
stant attendant, with this quibbling subscription : 

You gentlemen, and yeomen good, 
Come in and drink with Robin Hood ; 
If Bdbin Hood be not at home. 
Come in and drink with Little John.^ 

' Tlie bishop grows scurrilous. " I never beard," siiys 
Coke, att^)rney-gencral, " that Rubin Ilood was a traitor ,- 
they say he wan an outlaic." (Slatetrialg, i. 21it. — Raleigh 
had said, " Is it not Ktrangc for me to make myself n 
Robin Hood, a Kett, or a Cade ?") 

* This ballad seems to have been written in imitation of 
a song in Hcywood'H /(a)>e a/ Lucrcce, I().«i, beginning — 

•' The gentry to the Kings-hcnd, 
The nobles to the crown, Sfc." 

^ In Arnold's E$trx harmony, (II. 93.) ho gives the In- 
Bcription, as a catch for three voices, of his own coinpo- 
idtiiin, thuH : 

*' My beer is stunt, my ale is good, 
I'roy otay and drink with llobin Hood ; 

An honest countryman, admiring the conceit, adoplcd 
the lines, with a slight, but, as he thought, necessary 
altenition, viz. 

!f Robin Hood be not at home, 

Come in jmd drink with — Simon Webster. 

Drayton, describing the various ensigns or dcviccB 
of the English counties, at the battle of Agincourt, 
gives to 

" Old Nottingham, an archer clad in preen. 
Under a tree with his drawn bow that stood. 
Which in a chequer 'd flag far oflF was seen ; • 
II icas the picture o/oi.v Robin Hood." 

(dd) — " the supernatural powers he is, in some parts» 
supposed to have po>sessed."] '* In the pansh of 
Halifax, is an immense stone or rock, supi)oscd to be a 
druidical monument, there called Robin Hood's 
penny stone., which he is said to have used to pitch v.ith 
at a mark for his amusement. There is likewise an- 
other of these stones, of several tons weight, which 
the country people Avill tell you he threw off an ad- 
joiiiing hill witli a spade as he was digging. Every 
thing of the marveUous kind being here attributed to 
Robin Hood, as it is in Cornwall to K. Arthur." 
(^Yatsons History of Halifax., p. 27.) 

At Bitchovcr, six miles south of Bakewell, and four 
from Haddon, in Derbyshire, among several singular 
groupes of rocks, are some stones called Robin Hoods 
stride, being two of the highest and most remarkable. 
The people say Robin Hood lived here. 

(ee) — '"■ having a festival allotted to him, and 
solemn games instituted in honour of his memory, 
&c."] These games, which were of great antiquiiy, 
and different kinds, appear to have been solemnized on 
the first and succeeding days of May ; and to owe their 
original establishment to the cultivation and improve- 
ment of the manly exercise of archery, which was not, 
in former times, practised merely for the sake of 

" I find," says Stow, " that in the moneth of May, 
the citizens of London, of all estates, .lightlie in every 
parish, oj- sometimes two or three parishes joyning 
togelher, had their scverall mayinges, and did fetch in 
Maypoles, with divers warlike shewes., \\\i\\ good 
archers, morice-dajicers, and other devices for pas- 
time all the day long : and towards the evening they 

had stage-play es and bonefires in the streetes 

These gicate Mayinges and Maygames, made by the 
governors and masters of this citie, with the triumphant 
setting up of the greate shafte, (a principall Maypole in 
Cornhill, before the parish church of S. Andrew, 
therefore calVd Undcrshaftc) by meane of an insurrec- 
tion of youthcs against alianes on I\layday, 1517, the 
ninth of Henry the eight, have not beene so freely used 
as afore." {Siirvay of London., 159}?, p. 72.) 

The disuse of Uiesc ancient pastimes, and the conse- 
quent " neglect (if archcrie," arc tlius i)atheticaUy 
lamented liy Kichavd Niccolls, in his London^ crtii- 
Itry, l(il() 

" How is it that oiu- London hath laid downc 
This worthy practise, ■R-hich was once the cro\^^le 
Of all her pastime, when her Kobin Hood 
Had wont each ycare, when 3f«y did clad the wood. 

If Robin Hood abroad is gone, 

Pray stay and drink with little John." 

Tliis iubcription is to thia day (April 1839) to bo seen ok 
a ])ublic-housc nt Hoxton. 



"With lustie grcene, to lead his yong men out, 

V/hose brave demeanour oft when they did shoot, 

I»vited royall princes from their courts, 

Into the wilde woods to behold their sports I 

Who thought it then a manly sight and trim. 

To see a youth of cleane compacted lim, ^ description 

Who, with a comely grace, in his left hand of one drawing 

Holding his bow did take his stedfast stand, * ^°^'''- 

Setting his left leg somewhat foortli before. 

His arrow with his right hand nocking sure, 

Not stooping, nor yet standing strejght upright, 

ITien, with his left hand little 'bove his sight. 

Stretching his arm out, with an easie strength, 

To draw an arrow of a yard in length."' 

The lines, 
" Invited roj-all princes from their courts 
Into the wild woods to behold their sports," 

may be reasonably supposed to allude to Henry VIIL 
who appears to have been particularly attached, as well 
to the exercise of archery, as to the observance of May. 
Some short time after his coronation, says Hall, he 
" came to Westminster, with the quene, and all their 
traine : and on a tyme being there, his grace, therles 
of Essex, Wilshire, and other noble menne, to the 
numbre of twelve, came sodainly in a mornyng into 
the queues chambre, all appareled in short cotes of 
Kentish Kendal, Tvith hodes on tlieir heddes, and 
hosen of the same, every one of them his bowe and 
arrowes, and a sworde and a bucklar, like outlawes, or 
' Robyn' Hodes men ; Avherof the quene, the ladies, 
and al other there, were abashed, as well for the 
straunge sight, as also for their sodain commyng : and 
after certayn daunces and pastime made thei departed." 
{Hen. VJII. fo. 6, b.) The same author gives the 
follo-ning curious account of " A maiynge" in the 7th 
year of this monarch (1516): "The kyng & the 
quene, accompanied with many lordes & ladies, roade 
to the high gronnde on Shoters-hil to take the open 
ayre, and as they passed by the Avay they espied a 
company of tall yomen, clothed all in gi'ene, with 
grene whodes & bowes & aiTowes, to the number of 
ii. C. Then one of them whiche called h}Tiiselfe Robyn 
Hood., came to the kyng, desyring hym to se his men 
shote, and the kyng was content. Then he whisteled, 
& all the ii. C. archers shot & losed at once ; & then 
he whisteled again, and they likewyse shot agayne ; 
their aiTowes whisteled by craft of the head, so that the 
noyes was straunge and great, and muche pleased the 
kyng, the quene, and all the company. All these 
archers were of the kynges garde, and had thus appa- 
reled themselves to make solace to the kynge. Then 
Tfobyn Hood desyred the kyng and quene to come 
into the grene wood, and to se how the outlawes lyve. 
The kynge demaunded of the quene and her ladyes, if 
they durst adventure to go into the wood with so 
many outlawes. Then the quene saidj if it pleased 
hym, she was content. Then the homes blewe tyll 
they came to the wood under Shoters-hill, and there 
was an arber made of bowes, with a hal, and a gi'eat 
chamber, and an inner chamber, very well made and 
covered Avith floures and swete herbes, whiche the 
kyng muche praised. Then sayd Robyn Hood, Sir, 
outlawes brekefasies is venyson, and therefore you 
must be content with such fare as we use. Then the 
kyng and quene sat doune, and were served with 

1 This description is finely illustrated by an excellent 
wood cut at the head of one of Anthony a Woods old bal- 
lads in the Ashmoleian museum. The frontispiece to 
Oervas Slarkhams Arctierie, 16 . . is, likewise, a man 
drawing a bow. 

venysou and vyne by Robin Hood and his men, to 
their great contentacion. Then the kyng departed and 
his company, and Robyn Hood and his men them con- 
duicted ; and as they were returnyng, there met with 
them two ladyes in a ryche chariot drawen vath v. 
horses, and every horse had his name on his head, and 
on every horse sat a lady with her name written ... \ 
and in the chayre sate the lady May, accompanied with 
lady Flora, richely appareled ; and they saluted the , 
kyng with diverse goodly songes, and so brought hym 
to Grenewyche. At this maiyng was a gi-eate number 
of people to beholde, to their great solace and confort." 
(fo. Ivi, b.) 

That this sort of May-games was not peculiar to 
London, appears from a passage in Richard Robinsons 
" Third assertion Englishe historicall, frendly in favour 
and furtherance of English archery :"^ 

" And, heare because of archery I do by penne explane 
The use, the proflfet, and the praise, to England by the 

IMyselfe remembreth of a childe in contreye \ ; 

native mine, I (1553) I 

A May-game was of Robvn Hood, and ot his j (7 E. 6.) I 

traine that time, ^ 

To traine up young men, stripplings, and eche other 

younger childe. 
In shooting, yearely this with solempne feast waa by ths 

Or brotherhood of toAvnsmen done, with sport, wif 1. joy, ' 

and love, 
To proffet which in present tyme, and afterward did 


The games of Robin Hood seem to have been occa- 
sionally of a dramatic cast. Sir John Paston, in the 
time of K. Edward IV. complaining of the ingratitude of 
his sers^ants, mentions one who had promised never to 
desert him, " and ther uppon,'' says he, " I have kepyd 
h\Tn this iii yer to pleye seynt Jorge, and Robyn 
Hod and the shryfoff Notyngham^ and now when 
I wolde have good horse he is goon into Bernysdale, 
and I withowt a keeper." 

In some old accounts of the church- wardens of Saint 
Helens at Abingdon, Berks, for the year 1556, there is 
an entry For setting up Robin Hoodes Bowkr ; I 
suppose, says Wharton, for a parish interlude. (See 
History of English poetry, ii. 175.)4 

In some places these games were nothing more than 
a morris-dance, in which Robin Hood, Little Joh?i. 

2 See " The auncient order societie and unitie laudable 
of prince Arthure and his knightly armory of the roxmd 
table . . . Translated and collected by R. R. London, 
Imprinted by John Wolfe dwelling in Distaffe-lane neere 
the sigTie of the Castle. 1583." 4to. b. 1. It appears from 
this publication that on the revival of London archery in 
queen Elizabeths time, " the worshipfull socyety of 
archers," instead of calling themselves after Robin Hood 
ard his companions, took the names of " the magnificent 
prince Arthure and his knightly traine of the round 
table." It is, probably, to one of the annual meetings of 
this identical society, that master Shallow alludes, in 
" The second part of K. Henry IV." " Iremember," says 
he, " at Mile-end green, [their usual place of exercise,] — I 
was then Sir Dagonet in Arthur's shew," S^c. (See also 
^tecyens's Shakspeare, 1793. ix. 142.) The successors of the 
above " friendly and frank fellowship" assumed the ridi- 
culous appellations of duke of Shoreditch, marquis of 
Clarkenwell, earl of Pancridge, ^c. See Woods Bowmans 
glory, 16.^. 

•'' Meaning that his sole or chief employment had been in 
Christmas or May-games, Whitsun-ales, and such like idle 
diversions. See Original letters, &c. ii. 134. 

■^ The precise purpose or meaning of setting up Robin 
Hoods bower has not been satisfactorily ascertained. Mr 



Tilii Lil'E Oi' UOlilN HOOD. 

Maid Marian, and/rier Tuck were the principal pci'- 
souagw ; tlic otliers being a clown or fool, tlic bobby- 
lioi'Si', (wliicii api)o.irs, for some iv:vson or other, lo 
have been fivquently forgot*,) the tuborer, and tlie 
dancci-s, who were more or less nnnicroiis. Thus 
Warner : 

*• At riiake bcjran our morrisx, and ere penticost our Mat/, 

Tho liohcH Howl, Uidl John, frier Tucke, and Marian 

deflly play. LR^y'"'' 

And laid and ladic gang till kirke with lads and lai>ses 

Perliaps the clearest idea of these last-mentioned 
games, about the beginning of the 16th century, will 
he derived from some curious extracts given by Mr. 
Lysous, in his valuable work intitled " The environs 
of London," (Vol. I. 1792. p. 226) from the contem- 
poi-ary accounts of the " cluirch-wardens of the parisli 
of Kingston upon Thames." 

"Robin Hood and ISFay-game. 
" 23 Hen. 7. To the menstorcU upon ]May- 

day 4 

— — For ])aynting of tlic mores ganucnts 

and for sartengrct lcvereb57 ..024 

Heame, in an attempt to derive the name of " The Chiltern 
country " (cilnepn, Saxon) from silex, a flint, has the 
following words: " Certe Silcestriam, &c. ?'. e. Certainly 
Silehester, in Hampshire, signifies nothing but the city of 
flints (that is, a city comiiosed or built of jlint stones). 
And what is more, in thnt very Chiltern country you may 
frequently see houses built of flints, in erecting which, in 
ancient times, I suppose that many persons involved them- 
selves deeply in debt, and that, in order to extricate them- 
Kolvcs, they took up money at interest of 1 know not what 
great men, which so far disturbed their minds that they 
would become thieves, and do many things in no wise 
agreeable to tho English government. Hence, the nobility 
ordered tiiat large woods in the Chiltern country should, 
in a great measure, be cut down, lest they should conceal 
any considerable body of robbers, who were wont to con- 
vert the same into lurking places. It eonocrns this matter 
to call to mind, that of this sort of robbers was that Robin 
or Robert Hood, of whom the vulgar dayiy sing so many 
wonderful things. He (being now made an outlaw) before 
he retired into the north paits, frequently robing in the 
Cliiitem coimtry, lurked in the thickets thereof on purpose 
that he should not be taken. Thence it was, that to as 
boys, (exhilarating, according to custom, the mind with 
8p<irts) certain countrymen, with wliom we had accident- 
ally some conversation, shewed us that sort of den or retreat 
(vulgarly called Robin Hoods bower) in Maydenhead- 
thicket : which thicket is the same that Leland in his 
Itinerary, called Frith, by which name the Anglo-Saxons 
theniHolves spoke of thickets. F(ir although rpi^ in 
reality signifys peace, yet since nun)crous groves with 
them (as will na before with the Ihitons) were deemed 
sacred, it is by no nicans to be wondered at that a great 
wood (because manifestly an asylum) should in tho judg- 
ment of the Anglo-Saxons be called by no other name than 
J'pi^er l and that Mnydcnhcad-thicket was esteemed 
among the greater woods Leland himself is a witness. 
Rightly therefor did Ilobin Hood (as ppi^-bcTia reckon 
himself t(i abide there in security." (Clirnnicon iteDunstaple, 
p. .'MI7-) Wiwit lie means by all this is, doubtless, sufticiently 
OljHcure : the mere name, however, of Robin lloodi bower 
NCcms a very feeble authority for concluding that gallant 
outlaw to have robed or skulked in the Chiltern hundreds. 

' Sec Stcevens's Shnkspcarc, \']'^X x. !(«!. 

« Albinnt ICnf/lttml, lfiO'2, p. 121. It is part of the 
" Northerne mans speech against the friers." Ue adds : 
"At DuptiH day with ale and cakes bout bonlircs neigh- 
bours stoitd. 
At IMartle manse wa tumd acr.abbc, tliilkc toldo of Hobin 
TiU after long time myrkc.*' [ Hood, 

For pavnting of a bannar for Robin 

Hode .........00.'. 

For 2 M. & ^ pynnys 10 

For 4 ply ts and ^ of laun for the mores 

ganiients 2 11 

For orscdcii58 for the same . . .0 10 

For a goun for the lady . . . .008 

For bellys for the dawnsars . . .0 12 

24 lien. 7. For little John's cote ... S 
1 Hen. 8. For silver paper for the mores 

dawnsars 7 

For Kendall for Robyn Ho<le's cote 13 

For3ycrdsofwhitcforthefrcx-c's59cote 3 

For 4 ycrds of kendall for mayde 

Maryan'b«'hukc«« ... .".034 

For satcn of sypcrs for the same hukc 6 

For 2 payre nf glovys for Robin Hodc 

and niaydc Maryan 3 

'♦ 3 The word livery was fomierly used to signify any 
thing delivered ; see the Northumberland household book, 
p. GO. If it ever bore such an acceptation at that tiMie, 
one might be induced to suppose, from the following en- 
tries, that it here meant a badge, or something of tliat 
kind : 

15C. of leveresfor RobinHode 5 

For leveres, paper and sateyn 20 

For pyrmes and leveres flR5 

For 13 C. of leverys (14 4 

For 24 great lyvereys 004 

We are told that fannerly, in the celebration of May- 
games, the youth divided themselves into two troops, the 
one in winter livery, the other in the habit of the spring. 
See Brands Popular antiquities, p. 2G1." This quotatioa 
is misapplied. Liveries, in the present insUmee, ai-e 
pieces of paper or sateyn with some device thereon, which 
wore distributed among the spectators. So in a passage 
which will be shortly quoted fnmi Jacke Drums eutertaiii- 
ment: "Well said, my boyes, I must have my lords 
livory : what is't ? a. Muy-pole f Sec ixIm Don Quixote, 
part 2. chap. 22. 

•' =>^ Though it varies considerably from that word, this 
may be a corruption of orpiment, wliich was much in use 
for colouring the morris garments." How orseden can be 
a corruption of orpiment is not vei-j' easy to conceive : It 
may as well be supposed to mean worsted or buckram. 

" 50 The frier's coat was generally of russet, as it appears 
by tho following extracts . . . ." The coat of this mock 
frier would, doubtless, be made of the same stuff as that of 
a real one. 

" 6' Marian was the assumed name of the beloved mis- 
tress of Robert Earl of Huntin.^don. whilst he was in a 
state of outlawry, as Robin Hood was his. See Mr. 
Stcevcns's note to a passage in Shakspcre's Henry IV. This 
character in the morris dances was generally reprcbcnted 
by a boy. See Strutt's view of customs and n>anners, vol. 
iii. p. KW. It appears by one of the extracts, given above, 
that at Kingston it was performed by a woman, who \\a8 
paid a shilling each year for her trouble."' 

" 0* Mr. Steevens suggests, with great probability, that 
this word may have the same meaning as howve or houve, 
used by Chaucer for a head-dress ; maid JIarian's head- 
dress was always very fine : indeed some persons have 
derived her name from the Italian word marionc, a Iicad- 
dress."' Mr. Steevens was never less happy than he is in 
this very proliable conjecture. The word hoicvc or houve, 
in enhancer, is a mere variation of hood : and maid iMariaus 
head-drcHB must, to be sure, have been "very fine" when 
made of 4 yards of broad cloth ! A huke is a woman's 
gown or habit (Hukc palla, toya, pallium Belijicis feminis 
Hsitalum, Skin.) Marionc, in Italian, signifies a mnrrion 
or KoulUcap ; and it must be confessed, that they (if any 
there over were) who thence derived the proper name of 
Marian (Mary) must have been blockheads of the first 



For 6 brode arovys 6 

To mayde Maryau for her labour for 

two years 2 

To Fygge the taborer 6 

Rec^ for Robyn Hod's gaderyng 4 

5 Hen. 8. Rec'^ for Robin Hood's gaderyng 

at Croydon 9 4 

11 Hen. 8. Paid for thtee broad yerds of 

rosett for makyng the frer's cote 3 G 

Shoes for the mores daunsars, the frere 

and mayde Maryanat 7** a pajTC 5 4 
13 Hen. 8. Eight yerds of fustyan for the 

mores daunsars coats . . . .016 
A dosyn of gold skynnes for the morres^^ , q 10 

15 Hen. 8. Hire of hats for Robynhode . 16 
Paid for the hat that was lost . . .0 10 

16 Hen. 8. Rec*^ at the church-ale andRobj'n- 

hode all things deducted . . .310 6 

Paid for 6 yerds ^ of satyn for Robyn 

Hode'scotys ..".... 12 6 

For makyng the same 2 

For 3 ells of locram64 1 6 

21 Hen. Hen. 8. For spunging and brushing 

Robynhode's cotys 2 

28 Hen. 8. Five hats and 4 porses for the 

daimsars 4^ 

4 yerds of cloth for the fole's cote .020 

2 ells of worstede for mayde Maryans 

kyrtle 068 

— ■ — For 6 payre of double soUyd showne 4 6 

To the mynstrele 10 8 

To the fi-yer and the piper for to go to 

Croydon 8 

29 Hen. 8. Mem. Lefte in the kepingof the 

wardens nowe beinge. 
A iryCTS cote of russet and a kyrtele of a worstyde welt- 
yd with red cloth, a moAvren's ^5 cote of buckram, and 
4 morres daunsars cotes of Vvliite fustian spangelyd and 
two gi-j-ne saten cotes and a dysai'dd's ^ cote of cotton 
and 6 payre of garters with bells." 

These games appear to have been discontinued at 
Kingston, as a parochial undertaking at least, after the 
above period, as the industrious enquirer found no 
further entries relating to them. 

In an old circular Avood cut, preserved on the title 
of a penny-history, (Adam Bell, &c.) printed at 
Newcastle in 1772, is the apparent representation of a 
morris-dance, consisting of the following personages : 
1. A bishop. 2. Robin Hood. 3. The potter (or 
I'egger). 4. Little John. 5. Frier Tuck. 6. Maid 
Marian. Figures 2 and 4 are distinguished by their 
lows, and different size. The frier holds out a cross : 
and Marian has flowing hair, and wears a sort of coronet. 
But the execution of the whole is too rude to merit a 

" 62 It appears that this, as well as other games, was 
made a parish concern." 

'•' 03 Probablj' gilt leather, the pliability of which was 
particularly accoramodated to the motion of the dancers." 

" 61 A sort of coarse linen." 

" 05 Probably a Moor's coat : the word Morion is some- 
times used to express a Moor. — The morris dance is by 
some supposed to have been originally derived from 
Moorish-danee. Black buckram appears to have been 
much used for the dresses of the ancient mummers. One 
of the figures in Mr. Toilet's window is supposed to be a 

w' GG Disard is an old word for a fool." 

Some of the principal characters of the Morris seem 
to have gradually disappeared, so that at length it con- 
sisted only of the dancers, the piper, and the fool. In 
Mr. Toilets window we find neither Robin Hood nor 
Little John, though Marian and the frier are there 
distinguished performers. But in the scene of one, 
introduced in the old play of Jacke Drums enter- 
tainment, first printed in 1601, there is not the least 
symptom of any of the four.' " The taber and pipe 
strike up a morrice. A shoute within : A lord, a 
lord, a lord, who !^ 

Ed. Oh, a morrice is come, observe our country sports, 
'Tis Whitson tyde, and we must frolick it. 

Enter the morrice. 
The song. 
Skip if, and trip it, nimbly, nimbly. 
Tickle it, tickle it lustily, 
Strike up the taber, for the wenches favour , 
Tickle it, tickle it, lustily. 
Let us be seen on Hygate greene. 

To dance for the honour of Holloioo.y. 
Since we are come hither, let's spare for no leather. 

To dance for the honour of Hollow ay. 

Ed. Well said, my boyes, I must have my lord's livon- : 
what is't? a maypole? Troth, 'twere a good body fcr a 
courtiers impreza, if it had but this life, Frustra fiortscit. 
Hold, cousin, hold. {He gives the fool vioney. 

Foole. Thankes, cousin, when the lord my fathers audit 
comes, wee'l repay you againe. Your benevolence, too, sir. 

3Iam. What ! a lords sonne become a begger ! 

Foole. Wliy not ? when beggers are become lords soiie. 
Come, 'tis but a trifle. 

Mam. Oh, sir, many a small make a great. 

Foole. No, sir, a few great make a many small. Come, 
my lords, poore and neede hath no law. 

S. Ed. Nor necessitie no right. Drum, downe with them 
into the celler. Rest content, rest content; one bout 
more, and then away. 

Foole. ' Spoke' like a true heart : I kisse thy foot, sweet 
knight. {The morrice sing and dance and exeunt." 

Much curious matter on the subject of the morris- 
dance is to be found in " Mr. Toilet's opinion con- 
cerning the morris-dancers upon his window." (See 
Steevens's Shakspeare, v. 425. (edition, 1778) or 
viii. 596. (edition, 1793). See also Mr. Waldrons 
notes upon the Sad Shepherd, 1783, p. 255. Morris- 
dancers are said to be yet annually seen in Norfolk,^ 

1 Neither is any notice taken of them, where the cha- 
racters of the morris dance are mentioned, in The two 
noble kinsmen, by Shakspeare and Fletcher. 

2 This was a usual cry on occasions of mirth and jollity. 
Thus, in the celebration of St. Stephens day, in the Inner- 
Temple hall, as we find it described in Dugdales Origines 
juridiciales : " Supper ended, the constable-marshall ' pre- 
senteth' himself with drums afore him, mounted upon a 
scafi"old, born by four men ; and goeth three times round 
about the harthe, crying out aloud, A lord, a lord, &c. 
Then he descendeth and goeth to dance, &c." (p. 156.) 

3 This coimtry would seem to have been famous for 
their exertions a couple of centm-ies ago. Will Kemp the 
player was a celebrated morris dancer ; and in the Bodleian 
library is the following scarce and curious tract by him : 
"Kemps nine dales wonder performed in a daunce from 
London to Norwich. Containing the pleasure, paines and 
kind entertainment of William Kemp between London and 
that city in his late morrice. Wherein is somewhat set 
downe worth note ; to reproove the slaunders spred of him, 
many things merry, nothing hurtfull. Written by I'limself 
to satisfie his friends. London, printed by E. A. for Nicholas 
Ling. 16(10. 4to. b. 1. On the title-page is a wooden cut- 
figure of Kemp as a morris-dancer, preceded by a fellow 




constant appearance 

in L 

and mak 
shire >. 

In Scotland, " The game of Robin Hood was 
celebrated in the month of May. The populace assem- 
bled previous to the celebration of this festival, and 
chose some respectable"' member of the corporation to 
officiate in the character of Robin Hood, and another 
in that of Little John his squire. Upon the day 
appointed, which vas a Sunday or holyday, the people 
assembled in military array, and went to some adjoining 
field, where, either as actors or spectators, the whole 
inhabitants of the respective towns were convened. In 
this field they probably amu>ed themselves with a 
representation of Robin Hood's predatory exploits, or 
of his encounters with the ofTiccrs of justice [rather, 
perhaps, in feats of archery or military exercises]. 

'• As numerous meetings for disorderly mirth are 
apt to engender tumult, when the minds of the people 
came to be agitated wth religious controversy, it was 
found necessary to repress the game-^ of Robin Hood 
by public statute. The populace were by no means 
■willing to relinquish their faYourite amusement. Year 
after year the magistrates of Edinburgh were obliged 
to exert their authority* in repressing this game; often 
ineffectually. In the year 1561, the mob were so 
enraged at being disappointed in making a Robin 
Hood, that they rose in mutiny, seized on the city- 
gates, committed robberies upon strangers ; and one of 
the ringleaders being condemned by the magistrates to 
he hanged, the mob forced open the jail, set at liberty 
the criminal and all the prisoners, and broke in pieces 
the gibbet erected at the cross for executing the male- 
factor. They next assaulted the magistrates, who were .5 
sitting in the council-chamber, and who fled to the 
tolbooth for shelter, where the mob attacked them, 
battering the doors, and pouring stones thro' the viu- 
dows. Application was made to the deacons of the 
corporations to appease the tumult. Remaining, how- 

with a pipe and drum, whom he, in the book, calls Thomas 
Slye his taberer. — Sec, in Richard Brathwaytes Remains 
after c?eaf/(, IGI 8, some lines " upon Kempe and his morice 
Avith his epitaph." 

1 " On Jlonday [July 30] the morris-dancers of Pendle- 
ton paid their annual visit in Salford. They were adorned 
with all the variety of colours that a profusion of ribbons 
could give them, and had a very showy garland." Star, 
Aug.9, 17!>2 

* "Council register, v. 1. p. 30." 

:* "Mary, parliament 6. c. CI. A.D. 15.)5." "Ancntis 
Bvhirt Ihtdc, and abbot of Unreason. Item, It is statute and 
ordained, that in all times cuniming, na manor of person 
be chosen Robert Ihulc, nor Little John, abbot of -unreason, 
queenig of Maij. nor, nouthcr in biirgli, nor to 
landwart, in onio time to cum : and gif ony provest, 
baiilies. couneell, and communitie, cliuse sik ane personage 
as Robert Ilude, Little John, atitiotis of unreason, orqiieenis 
of Maij, within bur^h, the ehusors of sik sail tine their 
frecdomc for the space of five zoircs ; and iitberwiso salbo 
punished as the qiicenis graro will •, and the acccptar of 
hik lik oflicc sail be banished foortli of the roalme : and gif 
ony sik pcrbones .... bcis chosen out-with burgh, and 
ulhcrs landward towncs, the clumerH sail pay to oursovc- 
rainc ladio ten poundes, and tlieir pcrsonos [he] put in 
waird there to remaine during the quecnis graci- |)l('aMnre." 
Abbot of unreason is the charactiT better known in I'aig- 
land by the title of abbot or lord of misrule. " who," says 
Percy, " in tlie lionses of our nobility pri-sidcd over the 
Christmas gambols, and promoted mirth and jolity at that 
festive season." Northumberland household book, (notes,) 
p. 441. 

* *' Counril register, v. 4. p. 4. r«t. 

* " Knox's history, p. 270." 

ever, unconcerned spectators, they made this answer : 
" They will be magistrates alone ; let them rule the 
people alone." The magistrates were kept in confine- 
ment till they made proclamation be published, offering 
indemnity to the rioters upon laying down their arms. 
Still, however, so late as the year 1592, we find the 
general assembly complaining of the profanation of the 
sabbath, by making^ of Robin Hood plays ^ (Arnots 
History of Edinburgh^ p. 77.) 

Notwithstanding the above representation, it is cer- 
tain that these amusements were considerably upon 
the decline before the year 1568. This appears from 
a poem by Alexander Scot, preserved in the Hyndford 
MS. (in the advocates library, compiled and written in 
that identical year.) and inaccurately printed in The 
ever green : 

" In May quhen men zeid everiehone 
With Robene Iloid and LittiltJohne, 
To bring in bowis and birkin bobbynis ; 
Now all sic game is fastlingis gone, 
Bot gif it be amangis elovin Robbynis." 

(ff) — " His bow, and one of his arrows, his chair, 
his cap, and one of his slippers were preserN'ed till 
within the present century."] " We omitted," says 
Ray, " the sight of Fountain's abbey, where Robin 
//"oorf's BOW is kept." {Itineraries, 1760. p. 161.) 

" Having pleased ourselves with the antiquities of 
' Notingham,' we took horse and went to visit the 
tcell and ancient chair of Robin Hoiwl, which is not 
far fiom hence, within the forest of Sherwood. Being 
placed in the chair, Ave had a cap, which they say was 
his, very fonnally put upon our heads, and having 
performed the usual ceremonies befitting so great a 
solemnity, we receiv'd the freedom of the chair, and 
were incorporated into the society of that renowned 
brotherhood." (Bromes Travels over England, &c. 
1700, p. 85.) 

" On one side of this forest [sci. of Sherwood] 
towards Nottingham," says the author of '' The travels 
of Tom Thumb over England and Wales," (J. e. Robert 
Dodslcy,) " I was shewn a chair, a bow, and arrow, 
all said to have been his [Robin Hoods] propertv." 
(p. 82.) 

" I Mas pleased with a slipprr, belonging to the 
famous Robin Hood, shewn me, fifty ycai-s ago, at St. 
Anns ivell, near Nottingham, a place upon the borders 
of Sherwood forest, to which he resorted." (Journey 
from liirminqhaw to London, by W. Hutton. 
Bir. 178.5, p. l'74.) 

(gg) — " not only places which afforded him security 
or amusement, but even the well at which he quenched 
his thii-st, still retain his name."] Robin- Hoods-bay 
is both a bay and a village, on tJic coast of Yorkshire, 
between Wliitby and Scarborough. It is mentioned 
by Leland as " a fischer tounlct of 20. bootes cauUid 
Robyn Huddcs bay, a dok or bosom of a mile yn 
lengtli." {Itinerary, i. 53.) " When his robberies," 
says master Charlton, " became so numerous, and the 
outcries against him so loud, as almost to alarm the 
whole nation, parties of soldiers were sent down from 
London to apiirehend him : and then it was, that fearing 
for his .safety, he found it necessary to desert his usual 
haunts, and, retreating northward, to cross the moors 
that surrounded Whitby, [one side whereof happens, a 
little unfortunately, to lye open to the sea,] where, 
gaining the sea coast, ho always had in readincssjieai 

" Book of universal kirk, p. 414." See also Keiths 
History c^ Scotland, p. 216. 


at liand some small fishing vessels, to which lie could 
liave refuge, if he found himself pursued ; for in these, 
putting off to sea, he looked upon himself as quite 
secure, and held the^vhole power of the English nation 
at defiance. The chief place of his resort at these 
times, where his boats were generally laid up, was 
ahout six miles from Whitby, to which he communicated 
his name, and which is still called Robin Hoods hay. 
There he frequently went a fishing in the summer 
season, even when no enemy appeared to annoy him, 
and not far from that place he had butts or marks set 
up, where he used to exercise his men in shooting with 
the long-bow." i 

Near Gloucester is " a famous hill," called " Robin 
Hoods hill;'''' concerning which there is a very foolish 
modern song. Another hill of the same name exists 
in the neighbourhood of Castleton, Derbyshire. 

" Over a spring call'd Robin Hoods well, (3 or 4 
miles [on] this side [i. e. north] of Doncaster, and 
hut a quarter of a mile only from 2 towns call'd Skel- 
brough and Bourwallis) is a very handsome stone arch, 
I erected by the lord Carlisle, where passengers from the 
j coach fi'equently drink of the fair water, and give their 
1 charity to two people who attend there." (Gents 
I History of York. York, 1730, p. 234.)'- 

» History of Whilhy. York, 1779, p. 3 40'. "It was always 
believed," adds the worthy pedagogue, " that these butts 
had been erected by him for that very purpose, till the 
year I771j when this popular notion was discovered to be a 
mistake ; they being no more than the barrows or tumuli 
throAvn up by our pagan predecessors on interring their 
leaders or the other i>ersons of distinction amongst them. 
However, notwithstanding this discovery, there is no doubt 
but Robin Hood made use of those houes or butts when 
he was disposed to exercise his men, and wanted to train 
them up in hitting a mark." Be that as it may, there are 
j a few hillocks of a similar nature not far from Guis- 
' brough, which likewise bear the name of Robi7i Hoods 
butts ; and others, it is imagined, may be met with in 
other parts. 
i 2 Epigram on Robin Hoods well, "a fine spring on the 

I road, ornamented by sir John Vanbrugh ;" By Roger 

I Gale, Esq. (Bib. Topo. Britan. N°. H., part KI. 

p. 427.) 
■*• Nymphafui quondam latronibus hospita sylvce 
Heu nimium sociis nota, Robine, tuis. 
Mepudet innocuos latices fudisse scelesiis, 
Jamque viatori poculo tutafevo, 
j :En pietatis honos ! Comes hanc mihi Carliolensis 

I JEde7n sacravit qua bibis, hospes, aquas." 

The same author (Gent), in his "long and pathetick pro- 
logue," setting forth " the contingencies, vicissitudes or 
changes of this transitory life," spoken, for the most part, 
on Wednesday and Friday on the 18th and 20th of Feb- 
rnarj', 1761, at the deep tragedy of beautiful, eloquent, 
; tender-hearted, but imfortimate Jane Shore, .... 
I uttered and performed at his benefit" . . . (being then 
I eetatis 70, and far declined into the vale of sorrow,* ) has very 
artfully contrived to introduce our hero and his famous 

'♦ The coneave-hall 'mongst sources never view'd, 
Nor heard the goddesses in merry mood, 
At their choice viands sing bold Robin Hood 

'r } 

j:,-fe * He dyed in 1778, aged 87. 

t *» Omnes agnovere deam ; Itstique receptant 
Alcceum muscc comitem, ponuntur Idcchi 
Cratercs ; flaveatque scyphis Cerealia vina. 
Acceduntvultus hilares ; festique leporcs, 
Etjocus, ct risus : dulci testudine Naias 
Pulchra modos variat ; furtisque insignis ct arcu 
Hodi latronis,Jluvios bene nota per istos, 
Ludicra gesta cani: resonant laquearia plausv." 

Thoiigli there is no attendance at present, nor is the 
water altogether so fair as it might and should be, the 
case was otherwise in the days of honest Baniaby, 

" Veni Doncaster, SfC. 
Nescit situs artem modi, 
Puteum Robert! Hoodi 
Veni, Sf liquentc vena 
Vincto'^ catino catena, 
Tollcns sitim, parcum odi, 
Solvens oboliim custodi. 

Thence to Doncaster, &:c. 

Thirst knows neither mean nor measure, 

Robin Hood's tvcll was my treasure ; 

In a * common dish enchained, 

I my furious thirst restrained : 

And because I drank the deeper, 

I paid two farthings to the keeper.** 

He mentions it again : 

^'Nunc longinquGS locos odi, 
Vale fons Roberti Hoodi. 

" Now I hate all foreign places 
Robin Hoods ivell, and his chaces." 

A diff"erent well, sacred either to Robin Hood, or to 
St. Ann, has been already mentioned. 

(hh) — " confered as an honorable distinction upon 
the prime minister to the king of Madagascar."] The 
natives of this iland, who have dealings with our people, 
pride themselves, it seems, in English names, which 
are bestowed upon them at tlie discretion or caprice of 
the sailers; and thus a venerable minister of state, who 
should have been called sir Robert Walpole or cardinal 
Fleury, acquired the name of Robin Hood. Mr. Ives, 
by whom he is frequently mentioned, relates the 
following anecdote : 

" The reader will excuse my giving him another 
instance . . . which still more strikingly displays the 
extreme sensibility of these islandei-s, in respect to 
their kings dignity. Robin Hood (who seemed to act 
as prime minister, and negotiated most of the king's 
concerns with our agent-victualler) was one day trans- 
acting business with another gentleman of the squadron, 
and they happened to diflFer so much about the value 
of a certain commodity, that high words arose, and at 
length Robin Hood in the greatest agitation started 
from the ground where he was sitting, and swore that 
he would immediately acquaint the king of Baha with 
what had passed. Our English gentleman, too much 
heated with this threat, and the violent altercation 
Avhich had preceded it, unguardedly replied, " D — n 
the king of Baba." — The eyes of Robin Hood flashed 
like lightning, and in the moat violent wrath he retorted, 
" D — n king George." At the same instant he left 
the spot, hurrying away towards the Madagascarian 
cottages. Our countryman Avas soon struck with the 
impropriety of his behaviour, followed and overtook 
the disputant, and having made all proper concessions, 
the afiuir was happily terminated." ^ 


"Whose tomb at Kirkley's nunnery display'd, 
A false, hard-hearted, irreligious maid. 
Who bled, and to cold death that earl betray'd. 
But fame still lasts, while country folks display 
His limpid fountain, and iQud-surging bay." 
3 " Viventes vencs, spincB, catinusque catence. 
Sunt Robin Hoodi nota troplicea sui." 
■* " A well, thorn, dish, hung in an iron chain. 
For monuments of Robin Hood remain." 
^ Voyage from England to India. 1773, p. 8. In a sub- 
sequent pnge, this great man is employed in a commerce 

\ OL. II 



(ii) " AftOT his ilcath his company was dis- 
persed."] They, and tlicir successors, disciples or 
ibllowens, arc supposed to liave been afterward distin- 
guished, from till' name of their pdlant leader, by the 
title of Rohcrdsmcn. Lord Coke, who is somewhat 
singular in accusing him of li\nng " by robbery, burning 
of houses, felony, waste and spoil, and principally by 
and with vagabonds, idle wanderers, night-walkers, 
and draw-latches," says thnt "albeit he lived in York- 
shire, yet men of his quality took their denomination 
of him, and were called Roberdsmen throughout all 
England. Against these men," continues he, " was 
the statue of Winchester made in 13 K. 1. [c. 14.] 
for preventing of robbery, murders, burning of houses, 
&c. Also the statue" of 5 E. 3. [c. 14.] which 
' recites' the statue of Winchester, and that there had 
been divers manslaughters, felonies, and robberies done 
in times past, by people that be called Eoherdsmen, 
wasters and draw-Iatchcs : and remedy [is] provided 
by that act for the aiTesting of them. At the parlia- 
ment holden 50 E. 3." he adds, "it was petitioned to 
the king that ribands and sturdy beggars might be 
banished out of every town. The answer of the 
king in parliament was, touching ribauds : The statute 
of Winchester r.nd the declaration of the same with 
otiier statutes of Roberdsmen, and for such as make 
themselves gentlemen, and men of amies, and archers, 
if they cannot so prove theirselves, let them be driven to 
their occu]iation or service, or to the place from whence 
they came." He likewise notices the statute of 7 R. 2. 
[g. 5.] by which it is provided " that the statutes of 
roberdsmen, and draw-latches, be firmly holden and 
kept:" (3 Inst. 197.) 

These Roberdsmen are mentioned in Pierce the 
ploughmans crede, written about 1400 : 

" And right as Rohartesmcn raken aboutc." i 

Mr. Warton, who had once thought that the friers 
Rober lines were here meant, observes that " the expres- 
sion of Robin hoodes men, in bishop Latimers sermon, 
[supra, ]). 28,] is not without an allusion to the bad 
sense of Roberdsmen.'''' {H. E. P. ii. additions, 
sig. d. 4.) It does not, however, appear that the 
latter word has been ever used in a good one ; nor is 
there, after all, sufficient ground for concluding that 
these people v/cre zo named after Robin Hood. 

(jj) — •' the honour of little Johns death and 
burial is C(mtcnded for by rival nations."] I. By 
England. At the village of Ilathcrsage, about G miles 
from Castleton, in Deibyshirc, is Little Johns grave. 
A few vcars ago some curious person caused it to be 
opened, when there were found several bones of an 
uncommon size whidi he preserved ; but, meeting 
afterwaid with many imlucky .accidents, he carefully 
replaced them ; ))artly at the intercession of the sexton, 
who had taken them up for him, and who had in like 
manner been visited with misfnrttines : upon restoring 
the brjues all these troubles ceased. Such is the tradi- 
tion at Castleton. E. Ilai-grovc, in his " Anecdotes 
of archery," York, 1792, asserts, "that the grave is 
distingiiiKhed by a lai-gc stone idaced at the head, and 
another at the feet ; on -each of which are yet some 

of a more dcHcAtc, indeed, but, nccordinf? to liuropcan 
notions, IcHS honorable nature, which ho manages with 
ConHummatc* addrcbs. 

> Thoy lil.cwiHO Bccm ulliulcd to in the Viriim, fo. 1, b. 

And rysc wyth ribaudy as Rehcrtes knaves," 

remains of the Icttei-s L L." (p. 2G.) - IL By Scot- 
land. "In Murray land" according to that most 
vei-acious historian, m:uster Hector Boece, "is the 
kirke of Pette, quhare the banis of lytill John rcmaais 
in gret admiratioun of pepill. He lies bene fourtene 
fut of hycht with square membris offering thairto. 
Vi. zeris," continues he, " afore the cumyng of this 
werk to lycht we saw his hanche-banc, als mekill as 
the haill bane of ane man : for we schot our arme in 
the mouth tliairof. Be quhilk apperis how Strang and 
square pepill grew in our regioun afore thay WHire 
effeminat with lust and intemperance of mouth." ^ 
in. By Ireland. "There standeth," as Stanihurst 
relates, " in Ostmanto^\Tic grcenc an hillocke, named 
little John his shot. The occasion,'' he sajs, "pro- 
ceeded of this. 

" In the yeere one thousand one hundred fourc score 
and nine, there ranged three robbei"s and outlaws in 
England, among which Robert Hood and little John 
weere clieefeteins, of all theeves doubtlesse the most 
courteous. Robert Hood being betrayed at a nunrie 
in Scotland called Bricklies, the remnant of the cruc 
was scattered, and evcrie forced to shift for hira- 
selfe. AYhereupon ■little John was faine to flee the 
rcalme by sailing into Ireland, whei-e he sojourned for 
a few dales at Dublin. The citizens being doonc to 
understand the wandering outcast to be an excellent 
archer, requested him hartilic to trie how far he could 
bhoot at randon ; who yeclding to their behest, stood 
on the bridge of Dublin, and shot to that mole hill, 
leaving behind him a monument, rather by his pos- 
teritie to be woondered, than possiblic by anie man 
living to be counterscorcd. But as the repaii'c of so 
notorious a champion to anie coimtric would soone be 
published, so his abode could not be long concealed : 
and therefore to eschew the danger of [the] lawes, he 
fled into Scotland, wJiere he died at a towne or village 
called Tiloravic." * Thus Stanihurst, Avho is quoted 
by Dr. Ilanmcr in his Chronicle of Ireland, p. 179. 
but Mr. Walker, after observing that " poor Little 
John's great practical skill in archery could not save 
him fi'om an ignominious fate," says, " it appeared, 
from some records in the Southwell family, that he 
was publicly executed for robbery on Arhor-hill, 

2 «« On a loose paper, in Mi*. Ashmolo's hand-writing, 
in the museum at Oxford, is tlie following little anec- 
dote : — 

«' The famous Little John (Kobin Hood's companion) 
Ij'cs buried in Fcthorscclge clnuxh-yard. in the peak of 
Derbyshire, one stone at his head, another at his feet, 
and part of his bow hangs up in the chaiiccU. Anno 
105:?." U. E[lli8]." Eto-opcan maijaziiic, Ociobor l/iW. 
p. 20r>. 

3 Hisiort'e af Scniland, traushxlit be maister Joline 
licUcndru, Kdin. l.')41. fo. The luxury of his countrjanen 
will aiipear a strange complaint, in the mouth of a Scotish- 
man of the Kith century, to such as believe, with the late 
Dr. Johnson, that they learned to plant kail from Crom- 
wells soldiers, and that "when they had not kail they 
probably had nothing." {Jouriif!/ to the Western ixlands^ 
p. 5').) See also Doiscs original work. 

■» Description of Ireland, in llolinshods chronicle, 150/. 

6 Historical essaj/, &c. p. 12!). This allegation demands 
what the lawyoi-s call a pro/crt in curiavt. It is however, 
cortatn that there have been persons who usurped the 
name of Little John. In the year l.'iOi, "about myd- 
sonicr, was taken a folow wychc had renucd many of 
Kobyn Ilodes pagontes, which named hymsclfo Orenelef." 
( l-'altimns chronicle, 1059.) Therefor, beware of counter- 


/jfji) — " some of his dosceuclants, of tlie name 
of Nailor, "l^-"] ^'^^ ^^'^ preface to the History of 
George a Green. As surnames were by no means 
in general use at tlie close of the twelfth century, 
Little John may have obtained tliat of Nailor from 
Ins original profession. 

(" Ye boastecl worthies of the knuckle. 
To Maggs and to the Nailor truckle ") 

But however this, or tlie fiict itself may be, 


said to have belonged to Little John, with the name 
of Naylor upon it, is now, as the editor is informed, 
in the possession of a gentleman in the west riding 
of Yorkshire. 

The quotation about whetstones is from the Sloan 
MS. Those, indeed, who recollect the equivocal 
meaning of the word may tliink that this production 
has not been altogether confined to the grave of Little 






This ancient legend is printed from the copy cf an edi- 
tion, in 4to. and black letter, by Wynken do Worde, pre- 
served in the public library at Cambridge ; compared with, 
and, in some places, corrected bj', another impression 
(apparently from the former), likewise in 4to. and black 
letter, by William Copland ; a copy of which is among the 
late Mr. Garricks old plays, now in the British Museum. 
The full title of the first edition is as follows : " Here begin- 
neth a mery geste of RobjTi Hode and his mejue, and of 
the proude sheryfe of Notyngham ;" and the printers 
colophon rims thus: "Explycit. Kynge Edwarde and 
Robyn hodc & Lytell Johan. Enprented at London in 
Flete strete at the sygiie ef the sone. By Wjmken de 
Worde." To Coplands edition is added '« anewe playe for 
to be played in IWaye games very pleasaunte and full of 
pastyme ;" which will be found at large in another place. 
No other copy of either edition is ]vno-\\-n to be extant ; but, 
by the favour of the reverend Dr. Farmer, the editor hath 
in his hands a few leaves of an old 4to. black letter im- 
pression, judged by its late worthy possessor, than whom 
no one can decide in these matters with more certainty, to 
be of Rastalls printing, and older, by some years, than the 
above edition of Wjnken de Worde, which yet, though 
without date, we may safely place as high as the year 
1520. Among the same gentleman's numerous literary 
curiosities is likewise another edition, "printed," after 
Coplands, "for Edward White," (4to. black letter, no date, 
but entered in the Stationers books 13 May, 1594) which, 
as well as the above fragment, hath been collated, and 
every variation worthy of notice either adopted or re- 
marked in the margin. The only desertion from all the 
copies (except in necessary corrections) is the division of 
stanzas, the indenting of the lines, the addition of points, 
the disuse of abbreviations, and the occasional introduc- 
tion or rejection of a capital letter ; liberties, if they may 
be so called, which have been taken with most of the other 
poems in this collection. 

LiTKE'* and lysten, gentylmen, 

That be of frebore^ blode ; 
I shall you tell of a good yernan. 

His name was Robyn Hode. 

Robyn was a proude outlawe, 5 

Whyles he w^alked on grounde, 
So curteyse^ an outlawe as he was one 

Was never none y founde. 

Robyn Etode in Bernysdale, 
And lened hym to a tree, 

And by liym stode Lytell Jolian, 
A good yeman was he ; 

And also dyde good Scatheloek, 
And Much the millers sone ; 

There was no ynche of his bod}-. 
But it was wortlie a grome"^. 

Than be spake hjm Lytell Johan 
All unto Robyn Hode, 

ilayster, yf ye wolde ^yne betyme, 
It wolde do you moeli good. 

Then bespake good RobjTi, 

To dyne I have no lust"^, 
Tyll I have some bolde baron. 

Or some unketh^ gest, 

That may paye for the best? ; 
Or some knyght or some sc|uyere 

That dweiietli here by west. 

A good maner than had Robyn, 
In ionde where that he were, 

Every daye or lie woulde dyne 
Thre messes wolde he here : 

The one in the worshyp of the fader. 

The other of the holy goost. 
The th^a-de was of our dere lady. 
That he loved of all other moste. 

Rob}^l loved our dere lady. 
For doute of dedely synne ; 

Wolde lie never do company harme 
That ony woman was ynne. 







^ Attend, hear^ 



Free-bom, gentle. 

d Q,. common man ? [There is some doubt as to the de- 
rivation of this word. In its modern acceptation it signi- 
fies " one v/ho attends, observes, takes, or has the care of 
anything, whether of horses, chambers, garments, bride, 
&:c." (Ricliardsons Die.) Some derive it from the Dutch 
Grom, a boy, in which sense it seems to be used in this 
instance. Home Tooke referred it to the Anglo-Saxon 
Gyman, curare, accurare, servire, custodire ; and referring 
to the Anglo-Saxon Bridgum, (bride-groom), and, to the 
Dutch, Danish, and Swedish modes of writing the same 
word, contended that the r was superfluous.— En.] 

e Desire, inclination. f Strange, unknown. 

S The irregularity or defect of the versification, in this 
and similar passages, is probably owing to the loss of a line. 





Maystcr, tliau sayd Lytell Johan, 10 

And we our borde'' shall sprede, 
Tell us whether we shall gone, 

And what lyfe we shall lede ; 

Whore we shall take, where we shall levc. 
Where we shall abide behynde, 45 

Where wo shall robbe, where we .shall reve'. 
Where we shall bete and bynde. 

Tlier of no fors^, sayd Rob}Ti, 

We shall do well ynough ; 
But loUe ye do no housbonde' liarrae .50 

. That tylleth with his plough ; 

No more ye shall no good yeman, 

That walketh by grene wode shawe'", 

Ne no knyght ne no scjuyei'. 

That wolde be a good felawe. o5 

These bysshoppes, and thyse archebysshoppes. 

Ye shall them bete and bynde ; 
The hye sheryfe of Notynghame, 

H^^n holde in your mynde. 

This worde shall be holde, sayd Lytyll Johan, 60 

And this lesson shall we lere" ', 
It is ferre dayes °, god sende us a gest, 

Tliat we were at our dynere. 

Take thy good bowe in thy hande, said llobyn. 
Let Moche wendeP with the, 65 

And so shall Wyllyara Scathelocke, 
And no man abyde with me. 

And walke up to tlie Sayles, 

And so to Watlynge stretei, 
And wayte after some unketh gest, 70 

Up chaunce'' ye mowe' them mete. 

Be he erle or ony baron, 

Abbot or ony knyght, 
Brynge hym to lodge to me, 

ilys dyner shall be dyght'. 75 

They wente unto the Sayles, 

These yemen all thre. 
They loked est, they lokcd west. 

They myght no man see. 

But as they loked in Barnysdale, 80 

By a derne " strete "^j 
Then came there a knyght rydynge, 

Full sone they gan hvm mete. 

»» Table. i Take by force. 

1' Care ' Ilusbnndnian, peasant. 

m Shaw is usually explained by little wood, but prcoi 
irood little wood, would be mere tautology ; it may, there- 
fore, mean shade, which appears its primitive significa- 
ii^n: Scuica, Saxon. 

n lAjam. o Far in the day ; prandjour, Fr. P Go. 

'I This hocmfj to have been, and, in many parts, is still 
the name generally used by the vulgar for Krmino-strkkt. 
The course of tiie real Watling-street was fi-um Dover to 

The appears to be some place in the neighbour- 
hood of Ilumsdiile, but no mention of it 1ms elscwliere 
occurred ; though, it is believed, there is a field so called 
not far from Doncaster. 

' Vp ch a u tire, hy c\\M\cc. » May. 

* Dreosod. " Privy, secret « Lane, path, way. 

All dreri then was his .seinbiaunte y. 

And tytell was his pride, i}b 

Hys one fote in the sterope stode. 
That other waved besyde. 

Hys hode liangynge over hys eyen two. 

He rode in s)-mple a ray ; 
A soryer man thaii he was one 90 

Rode never in somers day. 

Lytell Johan was curteyse. 

And set hym on hi.s kne : 
Welcome be ye, gentyll knyght. 

Welcome are you to me. 95 

Welcome be thou to grene wood, 

Hende^ knyght and fre ; 
My mayster hath a byden you fastjiige, 

Sjt:, all these oures thrc. 

Who is your mayster ? sayd the knyght. 100 

Johan sayde, Robyn Hode. 
He is a good yeman, sayd the knyght, 

Of h}Tn I have herde moch good. 

1 graunte, lie sayd, with you to wende. 

My brethren all in fere ; 105 

My purpose was to have deyned to day 
At Blythe or Dankastere. 

Forthe than went this gentyll knyght. 

With a carefull chere. 
The teres out of his eyen ran, 1 10 

And fell downe by his lere." 

They brought hym unto the lodge dora, 

When Robyn gan liym se. 
Full curteysly dyde of his hode, 

And set hj-m on his kne. 115 

Welcome, syr knyght, then said Robyn, 

Welcome thou arte to me, 
I haue abyde you fastynge, syr. 

All these houres thre. 

Then answered the gentyll knyglit, 120 

With wordes fayre and fre, 
God the save, good Robyn, 

And all thy fa)Te meyne ^\ 

They wasshed togydor and w^•ped botho, 

And set tyll thejT dynere j 125 

Brede and wyne they had ynough, 
And nombles ^ of the dere ; 

Swannos and fesauntes they had full good, 

And foules of the revere ; 
There fayled never so l}tell a b^^Tde, 130 

That ever was bred on bi*ere. 

Do gladly, syr knyght, sayd Robyn, 

Gramercy'', syr, sayd he, 
Suche a dyner had I not 

Of all these wekes thro : 


VARfousRKADiNo.s.— IM34.all \\\s..Printcd Copies. V. 105. 
So n. [Rastall.] all thre. W. C. [de Wordc atid Copland.] 
V. H»t. this. ]l. that. If'.C. F. 111. cro. R. | 

y Semblance, appearance. * Gentle, courteous. I 

» Check. b Attendants, retinue ; mesnde, Fr. ! 

c Entrails; those parts which are usually baked in a 

pie ; now, corruptly, called Imuiblrs, or umbles .• nombles, j 

Tr. J Thanks, or many thanks ; grand mercit Pr. | 




-1 1 T come agayne, Robyn, 

Here by this countre, 
As good a dyner 1 shall tlie make, 

A.: thou hast made to me. 

Gra mercy, knyght, sayd Robyn, 140 

Aiy dyner whan I have, 
I ^^ ;is never so gredy, by dere worthy god. 

My dyner for to crave. 

But jay or ye wende, sayd Robyn, 

Me thynketh it is good ryght ; 145 

It was never the maner, by dere worthy god, 

A }• eman to pay for a knyght. 

I have nought in my cofers, sayd the knyght, 

Th 1 1 may profer for shame. 
Lytell Johan, go loke, sayd Robyn, 150 

Ne let '^ not for no blame. 

Tell me trouth, Isayd Robyn, 

So god have parte of the. 
I have no more but ten shillings, sayd the knyght. 

So god have parte of me, lfj5 

Yf thou have no more, sayd Robyn, 

I wyll not one peny ; 
And yf thou have nede of ony more. 

More shall I len the. 

uo now forth, Lytell Johan, 160 

The trouthe tell thou me, 
Yf there be no more but ten shillings, 

iSot one peny that I se. 

Lytell Johan spred downe his mantell 

Full fayi'e upon the grounde, 165 

And there he founde in the knyghtes cofer 
But even halfe a pounde. 

liytyll Johan let it lye full styll. 
And went to his mayster full lowe. 

What tydynge Johan I sayd Robyn. ] 70 

" S}T, the knyght is trewe inough." 

I yll of the best wyne, sayd RobjTi, 

The knyght shall begynne ; 
Moch wouder thynketh me 

Thy clothynge is so thynne. 1 75 

Tell me one worde, sayd Robyn, 

And counsell shall it be ; 
I trowe thou were made a knyght of forse, 

Or elles of yemanry ; 

Or elles thou hast ben a soi'y housband^, 1 SO 

And leved in stroke and stryfe ; 
An okerer^, or elles a lechoure, sayd Robyn, 

With WTonge hast thou lede thy lyfe. 

I am none of them, sayd the knyght. 

By god that made me ; 185 

An hondreth wynter here before, 
]\Iyne aunsetters^' knyghtes have be. 

But ofte it hath befal, Robyn, 

A man hath be dysgrate ^ ; 
But god that syteth in heven above 

May amend his state. 


Various Rjeadings.— V. 1 47. to pay. li. pay. W. C. V. 150. 
Kobyn. R. Robyn Hoode. W. C. 

e Omit. f Jlanager. s Usurer. ^ Ancestors. 

' Disgraced, Hath he dysgrate, hath fallen into poverty. 

Within two or thre yere, Robyn, he sayd, 

My neyghbores well it ' kende,' 
Foure hondreth pound of good money 

Full wel than myght I spende. 195 

Mq-w have I no good, sayd the knyght, 

Jiut my chyldren and my wyfe ; 
Ggvj hath shapen such an ende, 

'lyil god ' may amende my lyfe.' 

In -what maner, sayd Robyn, 2C0 

Hast thou lore ^ thy riches 1 
For my grete fol}-, he sayd. 

And for my kindenesse. 

I had a sone, for soth, Robyn, 

That sholde have ben my eyre, 205 

When he was twenty wynter olde. 

In felde wolde juste full feyre ; 

He slewe a knyght of Lancastshyre, 

And a squyre bolde ; 
For to B^\e hym in his I'yght 210 

Aty goodes beth sette ^ and soide ; 

Pily iondes beth'" set to Avedde ", Robyn, 

O'ntyil a certayue da ye. 
To a. ryche abbot here besyde, 

Of Saynt Mary abbay. » 215 

What is the somme ? sayd Robyn, 

Trouthe than tell thou me. 
Syr, he sayd, foure hondred pounde, 

The abbot tolde it to me. 

Now, and thou lese ° thy londe, sayd Roby:), 220 

What shall fall of the ? 
Hastely I wyll me buskeP, sayd the knyglit. 

Over the salte see. 

And se where Cryst was quycke and deed. 

On the mounte of Caluare. 225. 

Fare well, freude, and have good daye, 

It may noo better be- 

Teeres fell out of his eyen two, 

He wolde haue gone his waye — 
Farewell, frendes, and have good day, 230- 

I ne have more to pay. 

Where be thy friendes ! sayd Robyn. 

" Syr, never one wyll me know | 
Whyle I was ryche inow at home 

Grete host then wolde they blov/e, 235 

And now they renne awaye fro me. 

As bestes on a rowe ; 
They take no more heed of me 

Then they me never sawe." 

For ruthe i then wepte Lytell Johan, 2-10. 

Scathelocke and Much ' in fere'' ' 
Fyll of the best wyne, sayd Robyn, 

For here is a symple chore. 

Various Readings.— F. 192. two yere. R. V.l^^i. 

knowe. Printed Copies. V. 199. it may amende. Printed 
Copies. V. 208. lancaseshyre. R. V. 227. not. W. C. 
V. 232. by. W. C. V. 233. So R. knowe me. IF. C. The 
fragment of Rastdlls edition ends loith v. 238. V. 241. 

also. Printed Copies. V. 242. Wyme. Printed Copies. 

^ Lost. 1 Mortgaged. m Are, be- 

n Pledge, mortgage. o Lose. P Go, betake myscl- 

q Pity, compassion. '^ Together. 




I last thou ony frciulcs;, sayd Rob^ii, 

Thy borowes^ tl:at wyUhe ? 2 15 

I liave iKnie, then .'•nyd the knyght, 
But god that dyed ou a tree. 

Do waye thy japes', sayd Rob}ii, 

Therof wyll I right none ; 
Wenest" thou I wyll have god to borowe ? 2.'>0 

Peter, i'oule, or Johaii ? 

Nay, by hym that mc made, 

And shope^ both soniio and moiK>, 

Fynde a better borowe, sayd Robyn, 

Ormony getest thou none. 2j') 

I have none other, sayd the knyght. 

The sotliey for to say, 
Butjlf it be our dere lady. 

She fiiyled me never or this day. 

By dere worthy god, sayd Robyn, 2 GO 

To seclie^ all Englond thorowe, 
Yet fouiide I never to my pny", 

A moch better borowe. 

Come now forthe, Lytell Johan, 

And goo to my tresoure, 265 

And brynge mo foure hondred pounde, 

And loke that it well tolde be. 

Forthe then wente Lytell Johai^, 

And Scathclocke went before. 
He tolde out foure houndi-ed pouude, 270 

By eyghtene score. 

Is this well tolde ? sayd lytell Sluch. 

Johan sayd, What greveth tlie ? 
It is almes to hcljie a gentyll knyght 

That is fall in poverte. " 275 

Mayster, than sayd Lytell Johan, 

His clothynge is full thynne, 
Ye must gyve the knyght a ly veray '', 

To * lappe ' '^ his body ther in. 

For ye have scarlet and gi*ene, mayster, JIJO 

And many a ryche aray, 
There is no marchaunt in mery Englonde 

So ryche I dare well saye. 

Take hym thre ycrdes of every coloure, 

And loke that well mete it be. 285 

Lytell Johan toke none other mcsure 
But his bowe tre. 

And of every haiulftdl that he met'' 

lie lept oner fotes thre. 
What devilkyns draper, sayd litell Much, 21)0 thou to be ? 

Scathelockn stoode full styll aTid lough ^^ 

And sayd. By god alhnyght, 
Julian may gyve liym the better mcsure, 

By god, it cost him but lyght^. .'j;) 

Vahious Rkaoincs.— F. 27!). holpe. W- Mrapiu'. C. 

* PlodRcs, BurcticH. t Tricks. « Thinkest. 

■*■ Shaped, formcil. y Sooth, truth. * Seek. 

■ Consent, batisf.-iction. •> Livery, habit. 

-^ Wrap. d Mcisurcd. «-• Lauglieil. 

f Light ; or pcrliaps for Ujlc, little. 

I^iaystcr, sayd Lytell Jolian, 

All unto ilobyn llodc, 
Ye must gj'^e that knight an hoi's. 

To lede home al this good. 

Take hjTu a gray courser, sayd Robyn, ."OD 

And a sadell newe ; 
He is our ladyes messengere, 

God lene ^ that ho be true. 

A.nd a good palfrayc, sayd lytell Much, 
To mayntayne hjiii in his ryght. 305 

And a payre of botes, sayd Scathclocke, 
For he is a gentyll knyght. 

What slialt thou gyve h}in, Lytel Johan ? sayd 
Syr, a payro of gylte spores clenc, [Robyu. 

To pray for all this company : 310 

God brynge hym out of tene '^ ! 

Whan shall my daye be, safd the liiiyght, 

Syr, and your wyll be ? 
This daye twelve moneth, sayd Robyn, 

Under this grene wodo tiv\ 315 

It were grete shame, sayd Robyn, 

A knyght alone to ryde. 
Without squyer, yenian or pag?, 

To walke by h}S syde. 

I shall the lenc L}'tyll Johan my man, 
For he shall be thy knave ' ; 

In a yemans steed he may the stondc, 
Yf thou grete nede have. 



No WE is the knyght wentJ on this way. 

This game he thought full good, 
When he loked ou Bernysdalc, 

He blyssed Robyn Hode ; 

And whan he thought on Bornysdale, 

On Scathelock, Much, and Johan, 
He blyssed them for the best company 

That ever he in come '\ 

Then spake that gentyll knyght, 

To Lytel Johan gan he saye, 10 

To morowo I must to Yorke tounc. 

To Saynt Mary abl)ay ; 

And to the abbot of that place 

Fouro hondred pouude I must pay : 

And but I be there upon this nyght 15 

My londo is lost for ay. 

The abbot sayd to ];Is covent ', 

There he stodo -jn grounde, 
This day twel:'^ jnoneth came there a knyglit 

And bor jwed foure hondred pounde, 20 

[He boro.vcd fouve hondred pounde,] 

Upon aU Lis londc fre. 
But'" he jprTie this ylke" day 

Dyshf fjtya shall he be. 

Vawxi J*- rvEADi.Nos.— F. 30a Icue. W. lende. C. 

K Lend, (I,* perhaps lone (/■•atv), i. e. permit or prant. 

'' (i! Mil, sorrow, distress. • Servant, man, 

J TVccucri, gone. k (Pronounced co»0 eama 

■ ''cnvcnt; wlicnce our Cc^trwi (7aJv/<:?). 

" Without, unless. (Scotch^. 


It is full erely, sayd the pryoure°, 

The day is not yet ferre gone, 
I had lever p to pay an hondred pounde, 

And lay it downe a none. 

The knyght is ferre he yonde the see. 

In Englonde is his ryght, 30 

And suffreth honger and colde 
And many a sory nyght : 

It were grete pyte, sayd the pryoure, 

So to iiave his londe, 
And ye be so lyght of your conseyence 33 

Ye do to him moch wi'onge. 

Thou arte euer in my berde, sayd the abbot, 

By god and saynt Rychardei 
With that cam in a fat heded monke. 

The heygh selerer ^ ; 40 

He is dede or hanged, sayd the monlce. 

By god that bought me dere. 
And we shall have to spende in this place 

Foure hondred pounde by yere. 

The abbot and the hy selerer, 45 

Sterte forthe full bolde, 
The high justyce of Englonde 

The abbot there dyde holder 

The hye justyce and many mo 

Had take into their honde, 50 

Holy* all the knyghtes det, 

To put that knyght to wronge. 

They deraed" the knyght wonder sore, 

The abbot and hys meyne : 
"But he come this ylke day 55 

Dysheryte shall he be." 

He wyll not come yet, sayd the justyce, 

I dare well under take. 
But m sorovv-e ^ tyme for them all 

The knyght came to the gate. GO 

Than be spake that gentyll knyght 

Untyll his meyne, 
Now put on your symple wedes 

That ye brovight fro the see. 

o The prior, in an abbey, was the officer immediately 
under the abbot ; in priories and conventual cathedrals he 
was the superior. P Rather. 

q This was a " S. Richard kuig and confessour, sonne to 
Lotharius king of Kent, who, for the love of Christ, taking 
upon him a long peregrination, went to Rome for devotion 
to that sea, and in his Avay homeward, died at Luca, about 
tho year of Christ, seaven hundred and fifty, where his 
body is kept untill this day with great veneration, in the 
oratory and chappell of S. Frigidian, and adorned with an 
epitaph both in verse and prose." Eng. Martyrologe, 1608. 

There were other saints of the same name, as Richard 
de la Wich, bishop of Chichester, canonized in ,1262 ; and 
Richard bishop of St. Andrews in Calabria. See Draytons 
PoJy Olbion, Song 24. 

r The cellarer (celerier, cellararius, or cellarius) was 
that officer who furnished the convent with provi- 
sions, " cui potus et escffi cura est, qui ceilae vinarias et 
escarias prsaest, promus." Bu Cange. He appeal's to have 
been a person of considerable trust, and to have had a 
principal concern in the management of the society's 
revenues. See Spelman's Glossary, Fuller's Church His- 
tory, &e. 

* Keep. t Wholly. " Doomed, judged, ^ Sorry. 

[They put on their symple wedes,] 65 

And came to the gates anone, 
The porter was redy hymselfe, 

And welcomed them everyclione. 

Welcome, syr knyght, sayd the porter. 

My lord to mete is he, 70 

And so is many a gentyll man, 
For the love of the. 

The porter swore a full gi'ete othe. 

By god that made me, 
Here be the best coresed >' hors 75 

That ever yet sawe I me. 

Lede them into the stable, he sayd. 

That eased myght they be. 
They shall not come theriu, sayd the knyght, 

By god that dyed on a tre. 80 

Lordes were to mete isette 

In that abbotcs hall. 
The knyght went forth and kneled downe, 

And salved ^ them grete and small. 

Do gladly, syr abbot, sayd the knyght, 85 

I am come to holde my day. 
The fyrst word the abbot spake. 

Hast thou brought my pay * I 

Not one peny, sayd the knyght, 

By god that maked me. 90 

Thou art a shrewed ^ dettour, sayd the abbot ; 

Syr justyce, drynketo me. 

What doost thou here, sayd the abbot, 
But thou haddest bought thy pay ? 

For god, than sayd the knyght, 95 

To pray of a longer daye. 

Thy daye is broke, sayd the justyce, 

Londe getest thou none. 
" Now, good syr justyce, be my frende. 

And fende "^ me of my fone ^. 100 

I am holde ^ with the abbot, sayd the justyce, 

Bothe with cloth and fee. 
" Now, good syr sheryf, be ray frende." 

Nay for god, sayd he. 

" Now, good syr abbot, be my frende, 105 

For thy curteyse. 
And holde my londes in thy honde 

Tyll I have made the gree ^ ; 

And I wyll be thy true servaunte, 

And tre wely serve the, ilO 

Tyl ye have foure hondred pounde 

Of money good and free.'' 

The abbot sware a full grete othe. 

By god that dyed on a tre, 
Get the londe where thou may, 115 

For thou getest none of me. 

By dere worthy god, then sayd the knyght, 

That all this worlde wrought, • 
But I have my londe agayne, 

Full dere it shall be bought ; 120 

y Qy. ^ (Sallied 9) saluted. a Money, b Unlucky, 

c Defend. ^ Foes. ^ Held, retained of council. 

f Satisfaction. 




God that was (tf a mayilcn liorne 

Lcneif us well to spcdc, 
For it is good to assay a frende 

Or that a man have iiede. 

The abbot lothely onhym gau loke 12.") 

And vyhjynesly hym gan ' call,' 
Out, he saydjthou false knyght, 

Spede the out of my liall. 

Thou Ivest, then sayd the gcntyll knvght, 

Abbot in thy hal ; " - ^,^ 

False kuyght was I never. 
By god that made us all. 

Up then stode that gcntyll knvght, 

To the abbot sayd he, 
To suffre a knyght to knclc so longe, 135 

Thou canst no curteysye ; 

In joustes and in tournement 

Full ferre than have 1 be. 
And put mysclfe as ferre in prees 

As ony that ever I se. 140 

What wyll ye gyve more ? sayd the justycc, 
And the knyght shall make a releyse ; 

And elles dare I safly swere 

Ye holde never your londe in pees. 

An hondrcd pounde, sayd tlie abbot. 1-15 

The justyce said, Gyve him two. 
Nay, be god, sayd the knyght, 

Yet gete ye it not soo : 

Though ye wolde gyve a thousandc more. 

Yet were 'ye' never the nere ; 150 

Shall there never be myn eyre, 
Abbot, justyse, nc frerc. 

He sterte hym to a borde anone, 

Tyll a table roundc. 
And there he shoke out of a bagge 155 

Even foure hondred pounde. 

Have here thy golde, syr abbot, sayd the knyght. 

Which that thou lentcst me ; 
Haddest thou bin curtcys at my comynge, 

Rewarde sholdest thou have be. IGO 

The abbot sat styll, and ete no more. 

For all his i-yall '' chei-e. 
He cast his hede on his sholdcr, 

And fast bejran to stare. 

Take me my golde agayne, sayd the abbot, 

Syr justyce, that I toke the. 
Not a peny, sayd the justyce, 

By god tliat dyed on a tree. 

" Syr abbot, and yc men of lawc, 

Now have I holde my daye. 
Now shall I have my londe agayne. 

For ought that you can saye."' 

The knyght stei't out of the dure, 

Awaycr was all his care, 
And on \w. put his good clothyngc. 

The other he lefte there. 




VAiitouH Ukai)I.V(»h._ v. Vll. Icuc. W. Scnde us. C. V. VIC*. 
lokc. IK. C. V. 14U. grctc. W. get. C. V. 1^0. thou. 

/'rinled Coplrs. 

K Lend, or pcrlmpalcue (/caff), I.e. permit, grant '> Royal. 

He wente hym forthe full mcry sjiigynge, 

As men have tolde in tiile, 
His lady met hym at the gate. 

At home in Wierysdale'. 180 

Welcome, my lorde, sayd his lady ; 

Syr, lost is all your good ? 
Be mery, dame, sayd the knyght. 

And praye for Robyn Hode, 

That ever his soule be in blysse, \35 

He holpe me out of my tene ; 
Ne had not be his kyndenesse, 

Bcggers had we ben. 

The abbot and I acordyd ben, 

He is served of his pay, ] 90 

The good yeman lent it me. 

As I came by the way. 

This knyght than dwelled fayre at home. 

The soth J for to say, 
Tyll he had got foure 'hondrcth pounde, i !J.'> 

All redy for too paye. 

He purveyed hym an hondred bowes. 

The strenges [were] welle dyght. 
An hondred shefe of arowes good. 

The hedes burnyshed full bryght, 20O 

And every arowe an elle longe. 

With pecocke well y dyght k, 
Tnocked^ all with white sylver. 

It was a semly syght. 

He purveyed hym an hondreth men, iO.'v 

Well harneysed in that stede™. 
And hymselfe in that same sete ", 

.(Vnd clothed in whyte and rede. 

He bare a launsgay o in his honde, 

And a man ledde his male, 210 ■ 

And rcden with a lyght songe. 

Unto Bcrnysdale. 

As he went at a brydge ther was a wrastelyng, 

And there taryed was he. 
And there was all the best ycmen, 2I» 

Of all the west countrcc. 

A full fayre game there was upset, 

A whyte bull up ipyght '• ; 
A grete courser with sadle and brydll, 

With golde burncyshcd full bryght ; 220 

A payre of glover., a rede golde rynge, 

A pypo of wyno, in good fayi : 
What man berotli him best 1 wys"", 

The pryce shall here away. 

VARroiTS Readi.n'Os.— F. 207. sute C. V. 210. 1 uppyght 
W. upypght. C. 

» A forest in Lancasliiro. Sooth, truth. 

•< WiUi pecocke. weU p djKjht. ITnndsomely dressed with 
peacock's fcatlicrs. Thus, Chaucer describing his " squire's 
ycnmn :"— 

" A shefe of peacockc anccs bright & kocne, 
Under his belt he bare ful thviltly." 

1 Nocked, notched. 

p Qy. 

> Time. " Qy. 
q Faitli. 

o A kind of lance. 
«■ Trow 




There was a yeman in that place, 225 

And best worthy was he, 
And for he was ferre and frend bestad *, 

Islayne he sholde have be. 

The knyght had reuth * of this yeman. 

In place where that he stode, 230 

He said that yoman sholde have no harme, 
For love of Robyn Hode. 

The knyght presed into the place, 

An hondred folowed hj-m " fre," 
With bowes bent, and arowes sharpe. 

For to shende " that company. 

They sholdred all, and made hym ronie. 

To wete •'' what he wolde say. 
He toke the yeman by the honde. 

And geve hym all the playe ; 

He gave hym fyve marke for his wj-ne. 

There it laye on the molde,^ 
And bad it sholde be sette a broche, 

Drynlce who so wolde. 

Thus longe taryed this gentyll knyght, 

Tyll that playe was done. 
So longe abode Robyn fastynge, 

Thi-e houres after the none. 





Lyth and lysten, gentyll men. 

All that now be here. 
Of Lytell Johan, that was the knyghtes man, 

Good myrthe ye shall here. 

It was upon a mery day, o 

That yonge men wolde go shete,^ 
Lytell Johan fet his bowe anoue, 

And sayd he wolde them mete. 

Thre tymes Lytell Johan shot about. 

And alway cleft the wande, ] 

The proude sheryf of Notyngham 
By the markes gan stande. 

The sheryf swore a full grete othe. 

By hjTn that dyed on a tree. 
This man is the best archere 15 

That yet sawe I me. 

Say me now, wyght" yonge man. 

What is now thy name 1 
In what eountre were thou born, 

And where is thy wonnynge wan ?'' 20 

Various Readings — F. 234. fere TF. in fere C. V. C. 
shote. IF. V.^Q.he slesie [sliced ?) V/. F. 19. thou wast. 
C. wast tliou. While. 

s Ferre and frend hesfad. Far from home and without 
a friend. The passage, however, seems corrupt. Perhaps 
it should he— /?-en, [frend ovfremd),hestad, i.e., heset or 
siu-rounded by strangers. [Fremd, Saxon.) Thus, in 
Spenser's 4tli Eclogue : — 

" So now his friend is changed for a frcn." 

t Pity, compassion, " Hurt, annoy. ^' Know. 

y E%rth. z Shoot. ^ Strong, stout. 

t y/onnyngc ii:an, dw tiling-place. 

" In Holdernesse I was bore, 

I Avys all of my dame, 
Men call me Reynolde Grenelefe, 

Whan I am at hame." 

" Say me, Reynaud Grenelefe, 25 

Wolte thou dwell with me ? 
And every yere I wyll the gyve 

Twenty marke to thy fee." 

I have a mayster, sayd Lytell Johan, 

A cui'teys knyght is he, 33 

May ye gete leve of hym. 
The better may it bee. 

The sheryfe gate Lytell Johan 

Twelve nionethes of the knyght, 
Therefore he gave him ryght anone 35 

A good hors and a wyglit. 

Now is Lytel Johan the sheryflfes man. 

He gyve us well to spede, 
But alway thought Lytell Johan 

To quyte hj-m well liis mede.*^ 40 

Now so god me helpe, sayd Lytel Johan, 

And be my trewe lewte,*^ 
I shall be the worste servaunte to hym 

That ever yet had he. 

It befell upon a Wednesday, 45 

The sheryfe on hontynge was gone. 

And L^-tel Johan lay in his bed, 
And was foryete*^ at home. 

Therfore he was fastynge 

Tyl it was past the none. 5\> 

Good sjT stuard, I pray the, 

Geve me to d^^ne, sayd Lytel Johan. 

It is to long for Grenelefe, 

FastjTige so long to be ; 
Therfore 1 pray the, stuarde, 55 

My d}Tier gyve thou me. 

Shalt thou never ete ne drynke, sayd the stuarde, 

Tyll my lord be come to towaie. 
I make myn avowe^ to god, sayd Lytell Johan, 

I had lever to cracke thy ci'owne. 60 

The butler was ful uncurteys. 

There he stode on fiore. 
He sterte to the buttery, 

And shet= fast the dcre. 

Lytell Johan gave the buteler such a rap, 35 

His backe yede^ nygh on two, 
Tho he lyved an hundi'eth wynter, 

The wors he sholde go. 

He sporned the dore with liis fote. 

It went up wel and fyne, 70 

And there he made a large lyveray' 

Both of ale and wyne. 

Various Reading.— F. 41, Ge. IF./. God. 

c To rewai-d Iniu to some purpose. 
'1 Loyalty, good faith. '^ Forgotten. f Vow. 

g Shut. h Went, 

i Livery, delivery : the mesr- portion or quantity of pro- 
visions delivered out at a time by the butler, was called a 



Sytli yc wyl not dyne, siivil Lytel Johan, 

I shall <;yve you to drynke, 
And though ye lyve an hondred wynter, 75 

On Lytell JoliaJi ye shall thynk. 

Lytell Johan etc, and Ljiell [Johan] di'onke, 

The whyle that he wolde. 
The sheryfc had in his kechyn a coke, 

A stoute man and a bolde. 80 

1 make myn avoweJ to god, sayd the coke, 

Thou arte a shrewde hynde,"^ 
In an housholde to dwel. 

For to ask thus to dyne. 

And there lie lent Lytel Johan 85 

Good strokes thrc. 
I make myn avowe, r.ayd Lytell Johan, 

These strokes lyketh well me. 

Tiiou arte a bclde man and an hardy, 

And so thynketh me ; 90 

And or I passe fro this place, 
Asayed ' better shalt thou be. 

Lytell Johan di-ewe a good swerdc, 

The coke toke another in honde ; 
They thought nothjnige for to fie, S5 

But styfly for to stonde. 

There they fought sore to gyder, 

Two m}de way a-ud more, 
Myglit ueyther other harme done, 

The mountenaunce'" of an houre. 100 

I make myn avowe to god, sayd Lj-tell Johan, 

And be my trewe lewte, 
Thou art one of the best swerdemeu, 

That ever yet sawe I me. 

Coowdest thou shote as v/ell in a bowe, ;05 

To grene wood thou sholdest with me. 

And two tymes in the yere thy clothynge 
" Ichauuged sholde be ; 

And every yere of Robyn Hode 

Twenty marke to thy fee. 1 10 

Put up thy swcrde, sayd the coke, 

And felowes vvyll we be. 

Then he fette" to Lytell Jolian 

The numblesP of a doo, 
Good brede and full good w^iie, 115 

They cte and dranke thcrto. 

And whan they had dronken well, 
Ther trouthcs togyder they plyght. 

That they wolde hv. with Ivobyn 

That ylke same'i day at nyght. 120 

The dyde them to the tresure hous, 

As fast as they myght gone. 
The lock OS that were of good stele 

They brake them every chone ; 

Vaiuods Readino,— y. 121. liyed. C. 

i Vow. 

'' Shrticde hymlc, unlucky knave. 
' Ebsnycd, tried, proved. 
'" Amount, duration, b])acc. 
Clmngcd. o Fetched. 

V Sco p. .36 of thig cd. 
s Ylkc fame, very same. 

They toke away the silver vessell, 
And all that they myght get. 

Feces % masare ", and spones, 
Wolde they non forgete ; 

Also they toke the good pence, 
Thre hondi-ed pounde and three ; 

And dyde them stray t to Robyu Hode, 
Under the grene wode tre. ' 

" God the save, my dere mayster, 
And Cryst the save and se."' 

And than sayd Robyn to Lytell Johan, 
Welcome myght thou be ; 

And also be that fayre yeman 
Thou bi'yngest there with the. 

What tydynges fro Notyngham I 
Lytell Johan tell thou me. 

" Well the greteth the proude sheryfe, 

And sende the here by me 
His coke and his sylver vessell, 

And thre hondi-ed pounde and tlu'e." 

I make myn avow" to god, sayd Robyn, 

And to the trenyte. 
It was never by his good wyll, 

This good is come to me. 

L}i;ell Johan hym there bethought, 

On a shrewed wyle, 
Fyve myle in the forest he ran, 

Hym happed at liis wyll ; 

Than he met the proud sheryf, 
Huntynge with hounde and home, 

Lytell Johan coud' his eurteysye, 
And kneled hym beforne : 

" God the save, my dere mayster, 
And Cryst the save and see." 

l^iynolde Grenelefe, sayd the sheryfe. 
Where hast thou nowe be I 

" I have be in this forest, 

A fayre syght can I se. 
It was one of the fayrest syght es 

That ever yet sawe I me^ ; 

Yonder I se a ryght fayre hart, 

His coloure is of grene. 
Seven score of dere ujjon an herde 

Be with hym all bedeney; 

His tynde' are so sharp, mayster. 

Of sexty and well mo, 
That I durst not shote for dredc 

Lest they wolde me sloo." 











Various Readinus. 
W. Bightes, a 

V. 150. whylc. W. V. iC3. syglit. 

"■ Fixes ; vessels destined to contain the sacramental wafer. 

* Cups, vessels. ' Hepard. " "V'ow, v Knew, understood. 

^ A gallicism ; que jamais fai vu mvi 

y Behind, one after another ? [.More probably spread 
out. scattered around liim. The etj'mology ni)i)oars to bo 
tlie same as that of the word lied, wliich is derived from 
tlie Anglo-Saxon ii('</a'ta/i,sternere, to spread out smooth, 
or level. In Anglo-Saxon Bcddc is somutknes used for a 
table— Ed.] 

* Tyndcs, tines, antlers, the pointed branches tliat issuo 
from the main beam of a stag. "In Yngland ther ys a 




I make myn avowe to god, sayd the sheryf, 

That syght wolde I fayn se. 
" Buske you tliyderwarde, my dere mayster, 1 75 

Auone and wende Avith me." 

The sheryfe rode, and Lytell Johan 

Of fote he was full smarte, 
And whan they came afore Robyn : 

" Lo, here is the mayster harte !" ISO 

Styll stode the proude sheryf, 

A sory man was he : 
«' Wo worthe the^, Raynolde Grenelefe 

Thou hast now betrayed me." 

I make myn avowe to god, sayd Lytell Johan, 185 

Mayster, ye be to blame, 
I Avas mysserved of my dynere, 

When I was with you at hame. 

Soone he was to super sette, 

And served with sylver Avhyte ; 190 

And whan the sheryf se his vessell, 

For sorowe he myght not eto. 

Make good chere, sayd Robyn Hode, 

Sheryfe, for charyte. 
And for the love of Lytell Johan, 195 

Thy lyfe is graunted to the. 

When they had supped well. 

The day was all agone, 
Robyn commaunded Lytell Johan 

To drawe of his hosen and his shone, 200 

His k}Ttell'= and his cote a pye"^, 

That was furred well fyne. 
And take him a grene mantell. 

To lappe^ his body therin. 

Robyn commaunded his wyght yong men^, 205 

Under the grene Avood tre. 
They shall lay in that same sorte ; 

That the sheryf myght them se. 

All nyght lay that proud sheryf. 

In his breche and in liis sherte, 210 

No wonder it was in grene wode, 

Tho his sydes do smerte. 

Make glad chere, sayd Robyn Hode, 

Sheryfe, for charyte. 
For this is our order I Avyss, 215 

Under the grene Avood tre. 

Various Reading.— F. 183. wo theAvorth. IF. 

6hepcote, the Avyche schepekote liayt ix dorys, & at yeuery 
dor stondet ix ramys, & every ram hat ix ewys, & yevery 
ewe hathe ix lambys, & yevery lambe hayt ix homes, & 
every home hayt ix t)/ndes .- what ys the somm of all thes 
belle ?" MSS. 3Iore, Ee. 4. 35.) 

b Wo loorthe the, Avoe be to thee. 

c Query, Avaistcoat ? [Probably derived from gird, and 
thence applied to any article of dress confined by a girdle. 

'1 Upper garment, short cloak ; courtcpy, Chaucer. See 
See Tyrwhitt's note, iv. 201. e Wrap. 

f Yeomen (which is everywhere substituted in Copland's 
edition). See Spelman's glossarj% in the Avords Juniores, 
Tcomen ,- Tyrwhitt's edition of the Canterbury Tales, iv. 
L95 ; Shakspeare's plays, 1793, xiv. 34/. 

s Trow; there is no modern Avord precisely synony- 

This is harder oi'der, sayd the sheryfe. 

Than ony anker ^ or frere ; 
For al the golde in mei-y Englonde 

I Avolde not longe dwell here, 220 

All these tAvelve monethes, sayd Robyn, 

Thou shalte dwell Avith me ; 
I shall the teche, proud sheryfe, 

An outlawe for to be. 

Or I here another nyght lye, sayd the sheryfe, 225 

Robyn, iiOAve I praye the, 
Smyte of my hede rather to morne. 

And I forgyve it the. 

Lete me go, then sayd the sheryf, 

For saynt Charyte, 230 

And I wyll be thy best frende 

That ever yet had the. 

Thou shalte swere me an othe, sayd Robyn, 

On my bryght bronde', 
Thou shalt neA^er aAA^ayte me scathe'^, 235 

By Avater ne by londe ; 

And if thou fynde ony of my men. 

By nyght or by day. 
Upon thyne othe thou shalt swere. 

To helpe them that thou may. 

Now have the sheryf isAvore' his othe. 
And home he began to gone, 

He was as full of grene Avode 
As ever Avas hepe ™ of stone. 



The sheryf dwelled in Notynghame, 
He Avas fayne" that he Avas gone, 

And Robyn and his mery men 
Went to Avode anone. 

Go Ave to dyner, sayd Lytell Johan. i 

Robyn Hode sayd, Nay ; 
For I drede our lady be Avroth Avith me. 

For she sent me not my pay. 

Have no dout, mayster, sayd Lytell Johan, 
Yet is not the sonne at rest, 10 

For I dare saye, and saufly SAvere, 
The knyght is trewe and trust. 

Take thy boAve in thy hande, sayd Robyn, 

Let Moch wende Avith the. 
And so shall Wyllyam Scathelock, 15 

And no man abyde Avith me, 

h Hermit, Anchorite. i Brand, sAvord. 

k Awayte me scathe, lie in wait to do me harm. 
1 Sworn. 
ni Hip, haw, the fruit of the white- thorn. So in Gil 
Morice, a Scottish ballad :— 

" I was once asfoiv of Gill Morice 
As the hip is o' the stean/' 

[The hip is the fruit of the Avild rose, but in the present 
instance and in that quoted by Mr: Ritson, the hav/, tlie 
fruit of the white-thorn or hawihoyn, appears to be indi- 
cated, since the hip has no stone, although it is very full 
of seeds.— Ed,] 

" Glad. 



And walke up into the Sayles, 

Ami to Watlynge strcte. 
And wayte after ' some' unketh gest, 

Up chaunee ye may them mete. 20 

Whether ho be messengere, 

Or a man that myrthes" can 
Or yf he be a pore man, 

Of my good he shall have some. 

Forth then stert Lytel Jolian, 25 

Half ill trayP and tenei, 
And gyrde hym with a full good swerde, 

Under a mantel of grene. 

They went up to tlie Sayles, 

These yemen all thre ; 30 

They loked est, they loked west, 

They myght no man se. 

But as ^ they' loked in Bei'nysdale, 

By the hye waye, 
Tlian were they ware of two blacke monkes, 35 

Echo on a good palferay. 

Then bespake Lytell Johau, 

To Much he gan say, 
I dare lay my lyfe to wedde'', 

That these monkes have brought our pay. 10 

Make glad chore, sayd Lytell Johan, 

And frese^ our bowes of ewe, 
And loke your hertes be seker' and sad, 

Your sti-ynges trusty and trcwe. 

The monke hath fifty two men, 40 

And seven somers" full stronge. 
There rydeth no bysshop in this londe 

So ryally"', I understond. 

Brcthern, sayd Lytell Johan, 

Here are no more but w'e thre ; L"i 

But we brynge them to dyner, 

Our raayster dare we not so. 

Bende your bowes, sayd Lytell Johan, 

Make all yon pi'csey to stonde, 
The formost mouko, his lyfe and his deth 5j 

Is closed in my honde. 

Abyde, chorlc: monke, sayd Lytell Johan, 

No fei'ther that thou gone ; 
Yf thou doost, by dcre worthy god. 

Thy d'jth is in my honde. GO 

And evyll thryfte on thy hede, sayd Lytell Johan, 

Ryglit under thy hattos bondo. 
For tiiou hast made our may.ster wroth, 

lie is fastynge so longe. 

Various Rkadinos.— f. 19. such. W. V. .13. he. Old 
copies. V. 5G. you. W. Make you yonder presto. C. 

o Mirth, nicnument. A man that mirths can, a minstrel, 
fiddler, juggler, or the like. 

" Anger. 'i Grief, vexation. 

>■ Pawn, pledge. 

• Frcsc. ]Mr. llitson queries the meaning of this word, 

nor can wo offer any explanation, unless for Aiul/irse, wo 

Bliould read Un-frcizc, i, o., take out of the eases made of 

cloth of fj ieze. This wo offer merely as a conjecture.— Ku. 

» Sure. " Sumpter-horses. ^ Itoyally. 

y Company. :' Cluirl, peasant, clown. 

Who is your mayster? sayd the monke. Cj 

Lytell Jolian sayd, Rob^n Ilode. 
He is a stronge thefe, sayd the monke^ 

Of hym herd I never good. 

Thou lyest, than sayd Lytell Johan, 

And that shall rewe the ; 70 

He is a yeman of the forest, 
To dyne he hath bode"* the. 

Much was redy with a bolte^, 

Redly and a none. 
He set the monke to fore the brest, 73 

To the grounde that he can gone. 

Of fyfty two wyght yonge men, 

There abode not one, 
Saf a lytell page, and a grome 

To lede the somers with Johan. 80 

They brought the monke to the lodge dore, 

Whether he were loth or lefe '^, 
For to speke with Robyn Hode, 

Maugrt in theyr tethe. 

Robyn dyde adowne his liode, 85 

The monke whan that he se ; 
The monke was not so cui'teyse, 

His hode then let he be. 

He is a chorle, mayster, by dere worthy god, 

Than said Lytell Johan. ' 90 

Thereof no fors '', sayd Robyn, 
^' For curteysy can he none. 

How many men, sayd Robyn, 

Had this monke, Johan ? 
" Fyfty and two whan that we met, 95 

But many of them be gone." 

Let blowe a home, sayd Robin, 

That felaushyp may us knowe j 
Seven score of wyght yemen. 

Came pryckynge on a rowe, 1 OO 

And everych of them a good mant^U, 

Of scarlet and of raye ^, 
All they came to good Robyn, 

To wyte^ what he wolde say. 

" They made the monke to wasshe and wype, 1 0S 
And syt at his denere, 
Rob} a Hode and L\tel Johau 
They served * him' bothe in fere. 

Do gladly, monke, sayd Robyn, 

Oramercy, syr, said he. 1 10 

" Where is your abbay, whan ye are at homo. 

And who is your avowcBj" 

Saynt Mary abbay, sayd the monke. 

Though I be symple here. 
In what offyce ? sayd Robyn. 115 

" Syr, the hye selerer." 

Variois Ukadjng.s.— /'. 77. yemen. C. V. (10. Lytelt 
Johan. Old Copies. V. 10!). them. Old Copies. 

"Bidden, invited. 

^ A bolt was an arrow of a particular kind, used for 
shooting at a mark, or at birds. 

«-■ Li/c, willing, loth or Ir/c, whether he were willing or 
not. «' Care. <= <• ii,iy cloth, cloth that was never 

coloured or dyed."— 7ia//c^. ^ Ivnow. S Founder, 

patron, protector. See Spclman's Glossary, v. Advocatus, 




Ye be the more welcome, sayd Robyn, 

So ever mote I the. 
Fyll of the best v.-yue, sayd Robyn, 

This monke shall drynke to me. 1 20 

But I have grete mervayle, sayd Robyn, 

Of all this longe day, 
I drede our lady be wroth witli me, 

She sent me not my pay. 

Have no doute, mayster, sayd L)i;ell Johan, 1 25 

Ye have no nede I saye, 
This monke it hath brought, I dare well swere. 

For he is of her abbay. 

And she was a borowe, •' sayd Robyn, 

Betwene a knyght and me, 1 30 

Of a lytell money that I hym lent, 
Under the grene wode tree ; 

And yf thou hast that sylver ibroughte, 

I praye the let me se. 
And I shall helpe the eft sones', 135 

Yf tlnu hast nede of me. 

Tlie monke swore a full grete othe, 

With a sory chere. 
Of the borowehode k thou spekest to me, 

Herde I never ere'. 140 

I make myn avowe to god, sayd Robyn, 

Monlie, thou arte to blame. 
For god is holde a ryghtwys "' man. 

And so is his dame.. 

Thou toldest with thyn owne tonge, 145 

Thou may not say nay, 
How thou arte her servaunt, 

And servest her every day. 

And thou art made her raessengere, 

My money for to pay, ] 50 

Therfore I cun " the more thanke, 
Thou arte come at thy day. 

Wliat is in your eofers ? sayd Robyn, 

Trewe than tell thou me. 
Syr, he sayd, twenty marke, ] 55 

Al so mote ° I the p. 

Yf there be no more, sayd RobjTi, 

I wyll not one peny ; 
Yf thou hast myster*! of ony more, 

SjT, more I shall lende to the ; 160 

And yi I fynde more, sayd Robyn, 

I v,'ys thou shalte it forgone ■■ ; 
For of thy spendynge sylver, monk, 

Therof wyll I ryght none. 

Go nowe forth e, Lytell Johan, • --- 165 

And the trouth tell thou me ; 
If there be no more but twenty marke. 

No peny that I se. 

Various Readings — V- 136. to W. 
in C. V. 172. Eyght pounde. IF. 

V. 149. nade TT. net 

h Pledge, surety. 
1 Hereafter, afterward. ''^ Suretyship. 

1 Before. ^ Righteous. 

■» Con, owe, give. ° May, might. 

» Thrive. q Need. >" Forego, lose. 

L}tell Johan spred his mantell downe, 

As he had done before, 1 70 

And he tolde out of the monkes male, 
Eyght hundreth pounde and more. 

Lytell Johan let it lye full styll, 
And went to his mayster in hast ; 

S^T, he sayd, the monke is trewe ynowe ^ , 1 75 
Our lady hath doubled your cost. 

I make myn avowe to god, sayd Robyn, 

Monke, what tolde I the ? 
Our lady is the trewest woman. 

That ever yet founde I me. 180 

By dere worthy god, sayd Robyn, 

To seche all Englond thorowe. 
Yet founde 1 never to my pay 

A moche better borowe. 

Fyll of ye best wyne, do hym drynke, sayd 185 
And grete well thy lady hende, [Robyn, 

And yf she have nede of Robyn Hode, 
A frende she shall hym f^oade ; 

And yf she nedetli ony more sylver, 
Come thou agayne to me, 

And by this token she hath me sent. 
She shall have such thre. 




The monke was going to London ward, 
There to holde grete mote'. 

The knyght that rode so hye on hors. 
To brynge hym under fote. 

Whether be ye away ? sayd Robyn. 

" Syr, to manors in this londe. 
Too reken with our reves % 

That have done moch ^vronge." 

" Come now forth, Lytell Johan, 

And barken to my tale, 
A better yeman I knowe none. 

To soke a monkes male." 

How moch is in yonder other ^ cofer V sayd 205 
The soth must we see. [Robyn, 

By our lady, than sayd the monke. 
That were no curteysye, 

To bydde a man to dyner. 

And syth ^ hj-m bete and bynde. 210 

It is our olde maner, sayd Robyn, 

To leve but lytell behynde. 

The monke toke the hors with spore, 

No lenger wolde he abyde. 
Aske to drynke, then sayd Robyn, 2 ! 5 I 

Or that ye forther ryde. 

Nay, for god, then sayd the monke. 

Me reweth I cam so nere. 
For better chepe r I myght have dyned, 

In Blythe or in Dankestere. 220 j 

Various Readings. — V- 187. to. W. 
courser. C. 

V. 205. corser. IV. 

s Enough, 
t Meeting, assembly, court, audit. [So at the present 
day, ward-mote. — ^Ed.] 

« Bailiffs, receivers. x Afterward, 

y Cheaper : a meilleur marche, Fr. 

110 niN HOOD. 




Grcto well your abbot, sayd Robyii, 

And your pryour, I you pray. 
And byd him sendc me such a mo!ike. 

To dyner every day. 

Now loto we tliat monlce be styll, 

And spcko we of that knyn;htj 
Yet he came to holde his daj- 

Wliyle that it was lyght. 

He dyde him streyt to Beniysdale, 

Under the grene wode tre, 
And he fonnde there Robyn Hode, 

And all his mcri'y mcynt). 

The knight lyght downe of his good palfrny, 

Robyn wlian lie gan see, 
So curteysly he dyde adoune his hode, 

And set liym on liis knee. 

*■' God the save, good Robyn Hode, 

And al this company." 
" Welcome be thou, gentyll knyght. 

And ryght welcome to me." 

Than Ijespake hym Robyn Hode, 

To that knyght so f re. 
What nede dnveth the to grene wode ? 

I pray the, syr knyght, tell me. 

And welcome be thou, gentyl knyght, 245 

Why hast thou be so longe ? 
"For the abbot and the hye justyce 

Wolde have had my loude." 

Hast thou thy lond agayne ? sayd Rol^yn, 
Treuth than tell thou me. 250 

Ye, for god, sayd the knyght. 
And that thanke I god and the. 

But take not a grefe, I liave be so longe ; 

I came by a wrastelynge. 
And there J dyd holpe a poor yeman, 255 

With wronge was put behynde. 

Nay, for god, sayd Robyn, 

Syr knyght, that thanke I the ; 
What man that hclpcth a good yemiin. 

His frcnde than wyll I be. tlQi) 

o licro fouro hondrcd pounde, than sayd th 


'I'he whiche ye lent to me ; [knyght. 

And hei'c is also twenty marke 
For your curteysy. 

Nay, for god, than sayd Robyn, 'Jf!.") 

Thou broke ' it well for ay. 
For our lady, by her selcror. 

Hath sent to nic my pay; 

And yf I toko it twyse, 

A shame it wore to mo : 270 

But trewely, gentyll knyght, 

Welcom ai-tc thou to me. 

VAiiioih Hkadin'o f. 25i. gayne. IF." 

V. 253. Hut talv-o not a grefe, snyd the Icnyplit, 
That I have bo ho longe. Old Copies. 
V. 2()f). I twyse. IK. 

Whan Robyn had toldc his tale, 
He Icugh " and had good cherc. 

By my trouthe, then sayd the knygh.t. 
Your money is redy here. 

Broke it well, sayd Robyn, 
Thou gentyll knyght so fre ; 

And welcome be thou, gentill laiyght. 
Under my trystell ^ tree. 


» Brook, enjoy, use, keep. 

But what shall these bowes do ? sayd Robvn, 

And these arowes ifedered '^ fre ? 
By god, than sayd the knyght, 

A pore present to the. ' 

" Come now fortli, Lytell Jolian, 2^5 

And go to my treasure^, 
And brynge me there foure hondrcd pounde, 

The monke over tolde it me. 

Have here fouro liondred pounde. 

Thou gentyll knyght and trewe, 290 

And bye hors and harnes good, 

And gylte thy.spores all newe: 

x\nd yf thou fayle ony spend^uge, 

Com to Robyn Hode, 
And by my trouth thou shalt none fayle 205 

The whyles I have an}' good. 

And broke well thy foui> hundred pound, 

Whiche I lent to the. 
And make thy selfe no more so bare. 

By the counsell of me. 300 

Thus than holpe hym good Robyn, 

The knyght all of his care. 
God, that sytteth in heven hye, 

Graunte us well to fare. 


Now hath the knyght his leve italve ^, 

An<l wente hym on his way ; 
Robyn Hode and his mcry men 

Dwelled styll full many a day. 

Lyth and lysten, gcntil men, 5 

And hcrkcn what I shall say, 
How the proud sheryfe of Notyngham 

Dyde crye a full fa}re play ; 

That all the best archers of the north 

Sholdo come upon a day, 10 

And they that shoteth ' alder' best* 
The game shall here aAvay. 

VAiuot:s «KADiNi;s.— V. 2m). thi trusty. C. V. 302. this 
care. W. V. ;J(«. syt. W. 

K. 11. And that shoteth al thcrbost. W. 
And they that shoto al of the best. C. 

» Laughed. 

»' Trysting-trco. (iathoring-trcc. Tree appointed for 
meeting together. »-• Feathered. <l Taken. 

<• Ik'st of all. This phmsc, wliich occurs in Chaucer is 
corrupted in do Worde's edition to "al Ihcr," and " o? 
tlii-i/i;\" whicli Coplando has changed to " al qf the " 
whence it may be infered that the oxi)ression was become 
already obsolete, and consequently that the poem is of 



« He that shoteth « alder ' best 

Furthest fayre and lowe, 
At a payre of fynly ^ buttes, 1 5 

Under the greue wode shaAve, § 

A ryght good arowe he shall have, 

The shaft of sylver whyte, 
The heade and the feders '' of ryche rede golde, 

Tn Englond is none lyke." 20 

This then herde good Robyn, 

Under his trystell tre ' : 
« Make you redy, ye wj'ght yonge men ^, 

That shotynge wyll I se. 

Buske ' you, my mery yonge men, 2-3 

Ye shall go with me ; 
And I wyll wete the shryves fayth, 

Trewe and yf he be." 

Whan they had the}a' bowes ibent "', 

Theyr takles " fech-ed fre, 30 

Seven score of wyght yonge men 
Stode by Robyns kne. 

Whan they cam to Notyngham, 

The buttes were fayre and longe, 
Many Avas the bold archere 35 

That shoted with bowes stronge. 

« There shall but syx shote with m_e, 

The other shal kepe my hede, 
And stande with good bowes bent 

That I be not desceyved." 40 

The fourth outlawe his bow gan benue, 

And that was Robyn Hode, 
And that behelde the proude sheryfe. 

All by the but he stode. 

Thryes Robyn shot about, 45 

And alway he slist the wand. 
And so dyde good Gylberte, 

With the whyte hande. 

Lytell Johan and good Scatheloke 

Were archers good and fre ; 50 

Lytell Much and good Reynolde, 

The worste wolde they not be. 

Wlian they had shot aboute. 

These archours fap-e and good, 
Evermore was the best, 55 

Forsoth, Robyn Hode. 

Hym was delyvered the goode arow', 

For best worthy Avas he ; 
He toke the yeft o so curteysly, 

To grene Avode Avolde he, 60 

They cryed out on RobjTi Hode, 
And great homes gau they bloAve, 

Wo worth the, treason ! sayd Robyn, 
Full evvl thou art to knoAve. 

Various Readings. — V. 13. al theyre. 
F. 46. they slist. W. he clefte. C. 

W. al of the. C. 

much greater antiquity than 1520 : and yet Shakspeare, 
above half a century after, puts the Avord alderliefest into 
the mouth of Queen IMargaret. ^ Goodly. g Shade. 

h Feathers. i See p. 46. ^^ Yeomen. See p. 43. 

J Address or prepare yourselves, make ready, m Bent. 

n ArroAvs. o Gift. 

And wo be thou, thou proud sheryf, 

Thus gladdynge thy gest. 
Other wyse thou behote ^ rae 

In yonder Avylde forest ; 

But had I the in grene A\'ode, 

Under my trystell tre i, 
Thou sholdest leve me a better Avedde'^ 

Than thy trewe leAvte. 

Full many a boAve there was bent, 

And aroAves let they glyde, 
Many a kyi'tell there Avas rent. 

And hurt many a syde 

The outlaAves shot was so stronge, 
That no man myght them dryve, 

And the proud sheryfes men 
They fled aAvay full blyA-e ^ 

Robyn saAve the busshement ' to broke, 
Tn grene Avode he Avolde have be, 

Many an arowe there Avas shot 
Amonge that company. 

Lytell Johan Avas hurte full sore, 

With an aroAve in his kne. 
That he myght neyther go nor ryde j 

It Avas full grete pyte. 

islayster, then eayd Lytell Johan, 

If ever thou loA-^est me, 
And for that ylke ^ lordes love, 

That dyed upon a tre, 

And for the modes of my servyce. 

That I haA'^e serA'ed the, 
Lete never the proude sheryf 

Aiy ve noAv fynde me ; 

But take out thy broAvne swerde, 

And smyte all of my hede. 
And gyye me Avomides dede and Avyde, 

No lyfe on me be lefte. 

I v^'olde not that, sayd Robj-n, 
Johan, that thou Avere slawe ^, 

For all the golde in mery Englond, 
Though it lay now on a raAve. 

God forbede, sayd lytell Much, 

That dyed on a tre. 
That thou sholdest, Lytell Johan, 

Parte our company. 

Up he toke hun on his backe, 
And bare hym well a myle. 

Many a tyme he layd hym downe. 
And shot another AA'hyle. 

Then was there a fajTe cast^Il, 

A lytell Avithin the v/ode. 
Double dyched it was about. 

And walled, by the rode : 











Various Readings.- 
af ter eate no bread. C. 

■ V. 80. belyve C. V. 100. That I 

P Promised. i See p. 4fi. 

r PaAvn, pledge, or deposit, 
s Fast, quickly, briskly, 
t Ambush. " Same. very. 

' Slain. 




And thoro (hvoUod that gcntvll knyght, 

Syr Ilyclmrd at the Lee, 
That Robyn had lent his good, 

Under the greuc wode tree. 

In he toke good Robyn, 

And all his company : 
*• Welcome be thou, Robyn Hode, 

"Welcome arte thou [to] me ; 

And moche [I] thanke the of thy confort, 

And of thy curteysye. 
And of thy grete kyndenesse. 

Under the grene wode tre ; 

I love no man in all this worlde 

So moche as I do the ; 
For all the proud sher}f of Notyngham, 

Ryght here shalt thou be. 

Sh}^, ^ the gates, and drawe the bridge, 

And let no man com in ; 
And arrae you well and make you redy. 

And to the walle ye wynne>'. 

For one thyng, Robyn, I the behote, 

I swere by saynt Q,uyntyn, 
These twelve dayes thou wonest ^ with me, 

To suppe, ete, and dyne. 

Bordes were layed, and clothes spred, 

Reddely and anone ; 
Ilobyn Hode and his mery men 

To mete gan they gone \ 


Lythe and lysten, gentylmen, 
And herken unto your songe. 

How the proude sheryfe of Notyngham, 
And men of armes stronge, 

Full faste came to the liye sherj'fe, 

The countre up to rout. 
And they beset tlie knyglits cast^U, 

The walles all about. 

The proude sheryf loude gan crye. 
And sayd. Thou traytour knyght, 

Thou kcpeste here the kynges enemyc, 
Agayne the lawes and ryght. 

" Syr, I wyll avowe ^ that I have done, 
The dedes that here be dyght '^f 

Upon all tlie londes that I have. 
As I am a trewe knyght. 

Wende fertile, syrs, on your waye. 

And doth no more to mo, 
Tyll ye wytte'' our kynges wyll 

What ho woll say to the." 

Vabioub Rbadino.— r. 14. thou. If. 







X Slmt. y Get. 

•f DwcUest. 
^ Giiii Hiri/ fionr. Arc thoy gone, did tlicy go. lQ.y.,(he!/ 
began to <jo y— !■:».] 

^ yiaXwiaXn, verbiim juris. ^ Done. 

'' Know. 

The shcref thus had his answere, 

With out ony leasynge '^, 
Forthe he yode ^ to London toune, 

All for to tel our kynge. 

There he tolde him of that knyght, 2o 

And eke of Robyn Hode, 
And also of the bolde archeres, 

That noble were and good. 

" He wolde avowe that he had done. 

To ma}nita}Tie the outlawes stronge, 30 

He wolde be lorde, and set you at nought, 
In all the north londe." 

I woll be at Notyngham, sayd the kynge, 

Within this fourtynyght. 
And take I wyll Robyn Hode, 35 

And so I wyll that knyght. 

Go home, thou proud sher^'f, 

And do as I bydde the. 
And oi'dajTie good archeres inowe, 

Of all the wyde countree. 40 

The sheryf had his leve itake. 
And went hym on his way ; 
^/And Robyn Hode to grene wode, 
Upon a certayn day ; 

And Lytell Johau was hole of the arowc, 4fi 

That shote was in his kne, 
And dyde hym strayte to Robyn Hode, 

Under the grene wode tre. 

Robyn Hode walked in the foreste. 

Under the leves grene, 50 

The proud sheryfe of Notyngham 

Therefore he had grete tene. 

The shei-yf there fayled of Robyn Hode, 

He myght not have his pi"ay. 
Then he awayted e that gentyil knyght, bh 

Bothe by nyght and by daye. 

Ever he awayted that gentyil knyght, 

Syr Rychard at the Lee ; 
As he went on haukynge by the ryver sydo, 

And let liis haukes flee, 60 

Toke he there his gentyil knyght, 

With men of armes stronge, 
And lad hym home to Notyngham warde, 

Ibonde '' both fote and honde. 

The sheryf swore a full grete othe, 

By hym that dyed on a tre. 
He had Kncn- than an hondrede poundc. 

That Robyn Hode had he ! 

Then the lady, the knyghtes wjfe, 

A fayrc; lady and fre. 
She set lu>r on a gode j^alfrny, 

To {jrene wode anon rode slic. 


Various Readings.— r. 38. the bydde. Old Copies. V. G4. 
honde and fote. IK. foote and liande. C V. 08. That ho 
l>ad Robyn Hode. W. 

c Lying, falsehood. 
t Rode. 8^ Lay in wait for. 

» Round. 





i- "When she came to the foi'est, 
Under tlie grene wode tre, 
Founde she there Robyn Hode, 
And all his fayre meyn^. 


And or he myght up aryse. 

On his fete to stonde. 
He smote of the sheryves hede, 

With his bryght bronde. 


" God the save, good Robyn Hode, 

And all thy company ; 
f or our dere ladyes love, 

A bone graunte thou me. 


'' Lye thou there, thou proud sheryf, 

Evyll mote thou thryve ; 
There myght no man to the trust. 

The whyles thou were alyve." 


Let thou never my wedded lorde 

Shamfully siayne to be ; 
He is fiist ibounde to Notjugham warde 

For the love of the." 


His men drewe out theyr bryght swerd.",?. 
That were so sharpe and kene, 

A-nd layde on the sheryves men, 
And dryved them downe by dene.« 


Anone then sayd good Robyn, 

To that lady fre. 
What man hath your lorde itake ? 

The proude shirife, than sayd she. 


Robyn stert to that knyght. 
And cut a two his bonde. 

And toke him in his hand a bowe. 
And bade hym by hym stonde. 


[The proude sheryfc hath hyni itake] 

Forsoth as I the say ; 
He is not yet thre myies. 

Passed on ' his' waye. 


" Leve thy hors the behynde, 
And lerne for to renne ; 

Thou shalt with me to grene wode. 
Through myre, mosse and fenne, 

Up then sterte good Robyn, 
xYs a man that had be wode : 

»' Buske you, my mery younge men, 
For In-m that dyed on a rode' ; 


Thou shalt with me to grene wode, 

Without ony leasynge, 
Tyll that I have gete us grace. 

Of Ed warde our comly kynge." 


And he that this sorowe forsaketh. 
By hym that dyed on a tre, 

And by him that al thinges maketh. 
No lenger shall dwell with me." 



Sone there were good bowes ibent, 

Mo than seven score. 
Hedge ne dyche spared they none, 

That was them before. 

The kynge came to Notynghame, 
W^ith knyghtes in grete araye, 

For to take that gentyll knyght. 
And Robyn Hode, yf he may. 

I make myn avowe to god, sayd Robyn, 
The knyght wolde I layn se. 

And yf I may hym take, 
J Iquyt than shall he bee. 


He asked men of that countre. 

After Robyn Hode, 
And after that gentyll knyght, 

That was so bolde and stout. 


And whan they came to Notyngham, 
They walked in the strete, 

And v.ith the proud sheryf, I wys, 
Sone gan they mete. 


Whan they had tolde hym the case, 
Our kynge unflerstonde ther tale, 

And seased m his honde 
The knyghtes londes all, 


Abyde, thou proud sheryf, he sayd, 
Abyde and speake with me, 

Of some tydj-nges of our kN-nge, 
I wolde fayne here of the. 


All the passe 1 of T/ancasshyre, 
He went both ferre and nere, 

Tyll he came to Plomton parke. 
He faylyd •»» many of his dere. 


This seven yere, by dere worthy god, 

Ne yede ^^ I so fast on fote, 
I make myn avowe to god, thou proud sheryfe, 

* It' is not for thy good. *12() 

Tliere our kjnge was wont to se 

Herdes many one. 
He coud unneth ° fynde one dere. 

That bare ony good home. 


Robyn bent a good bowe. 

An arrowe he drewe at liis wyll. 

He hyt so the proud sherjf. 

Upon the grounde he lay full styll ; 

bj-n. IF. 
I siayne 
your. W. 
he never 
V. 108. 

The kynge was wonder wroth with all. 

And swore by the trynyte, 
'- 1 wolde I had Robyn Hode, 

With eyen I myght hym se ; 

Various Readings.— F. 77. God the good Ro 
y . 79. lady. W. r. 81 . Late. V. 82. "shamly 
be. W. V. 88. For soth as I the say. V/. V. 92. 
You may them over take. C. V. 99, 100. Shall 
in grene wode be, Nor longer dwell with me. W. 
ic >r. r. 120. At. TF. That. (7.— [good] boote 

Various Rjeadings.— F. 138. hoode.IF. bande. C. 

and yf . TF. 


k Bi/ dene. [Mr. Ritson explains this to mean 
after the other," but query whether it does not i 
signify, flat; to drive them down by dene, to lay then 
spread out upon the groimd. See note y, p. 42.— Ed. 

1 Extent, boimds, limits, district, as thepasde Calais 
land's edit, reads cowpa*. ™ "Wanted, missed, ngca 

" one 
1 low, 

^ Rood, crucifix. J Acquitted, set at liberty. 

k Went. 


Vol. II 




And he thatwoldesmyteof the kuyghtes hede, 25 

Ami brynfje it to inc, 
He shall have the knyghtcs londcs, 

Syr RycharJe at the Le ; 

I gyve it hym with my cliart«^r. 
And rele it with my honde, 

To have and holde for ever more. 
In all mery Englonde." 

Than hespake a fayre olde knyght, 

That was treuc in his fay,° 
A, my lege lorde the kynge, 

One worde I shall you say ; 

There is no man in this country 
May have the knyghtes londes, 

Whyle Robyn Hode may ryde or gone, 
And here a bowe in his hondes ; 

That he ne shall lese his hede, 
That is the best ball in his hode : 

Give it no man, my lorde the kynge, 
That ye wyll any good. 

Half a ycre dwelled our comly kynge, 
In Notyngham, and well more, 

Coude he not here of Robyn Hode, 
In what countre that he were ; 

But alway went good Robyn 

By halke p and eke by hyll. 
And alway slewe the kynges dere, 

Jind welt them at his wyll. i 

Than bespake a proude fostere, ' 
That stode by our kynges kne, 

If ye wyll se good Robyn, 
Ye must do after me ; 

Talco f j^-e of the best knyghtes 

That be in your lede, ' 
And walke downe by * yon' abbay. 

And gete you monkes wede.' 

And I wyll be your ledes man " 

And lede you the way, 
And or ye come to Notyngham, 

Myn hede then dare I lay. 

That ye shall mete with good Robyn, 

On lyve yf that he be. 
Or ye come to Notyngham, 

With eyen ye shall hym se. 

Full hastly our kynge was dyght. 

So were his knyglites fyve, 
E^•erych of them in monkos wede, 

And hasted them thyder blyth. 

Our kynge was grete above his cole, ^ 

A bi'odo hat on his crowne, 
Ryght as he were abbot lyko, 

They rode up in to the towue. 
Various Rradino. — V. 5r>. your. Old Copirs. 










o Faith, honour. 

P Perhaps, haugh, low ground by the aide of a river? 
Sec the glossary to liishop Douglan's Virgil, v. Jlatcchis. 
llnlke, with Chauci-r, higniflosa comer; but here it seems 
iu.ed in opposition to a hill. 

'1 Welt (hem at liiit wi/ll ,- did as ho pleased with thcni, 
used them at his pleasure. 

' Forester. » Train, suite. » Dress, habits. " (?uido. 

* Jdr. Ritson queries the meaning of this word. Wo 

StA'f botes our kynge had on, 

Forsoth as I you say. 
He rode s^Tigynge to grene wode, 

The oovent was clothed in graye. 80 

His male hors ^*', and his grete somers,'* " 

Folowed our kynge be hynde, 
Tyll they came to grene wode, 

A myle under the lynde. ^ 

There they met with good Robyn, 85 

Stondynge on the waye. 
And so dyde many a bolde archere. 

For soth as I you say. 

Robpi toke the kynges hors, 

Hastely in that stede, 90 

And sayd, Syr abbot, by your leve, 

A whyle ye must abyde ; 

We be yemen of this foreste. 

Under the gi-ene woAg tre. 
We lyve by our kynges dere, 95 

Other sh^'ft have not we ; 

And ye have chj-rches and rentes both, 

And gold fulfgrete plenty ; 
Gyve us some of your spendynge. 

For saynt Chary te.^^ 100 

Than bespake our cumly kynge, 

Anone than sayd he, 
I brought no more to grene wode. 

But forty pouiide with me ; 

I have layne at Notyngham, 105 

This fourtynyght with our kynge, 

And spent I have full moche good, 
On many a grete lordynge ; 

And I have but forty pounde. 

No more than have I me, 110 

But yf I had an hondred pounde, 

I would geve it to tlie. 

Rob}Ti toke the forty pounde, 

And departed it in two partye, 
Halfendell y he gave his mery men, 1 15 

And bad them mery to be. 

Various Readings. — V. 96. Under the grene wodo tre. 
W. r. 112. I vouohe it halfo on the. W. 

should probably read coif? ; the allusion seems to bo to 
the imusual distinction of the hat worn in addition to 
that portion of the monastic dress. — Ed. 

^ Horse carrying the mail, bag or baggage. 
*■ ^'' Sumpter horses. 
* The lime or linden tree; or, collectively, lime-trees, 
or trees in general. 

^ X This saint is also mentioned by Spenser, in his Fifth 
Eclogue : 

"Ah dear lord, and sweet SaitU niariti/:" 
again, in the downfall of RobertEai-1 of Huntingdon, 1601 : 

" Therefore, sweet master, for Saint Charilt/." 
and likewise in one of Ophelia's songs, in Hamlet : 

" By Gis and by Saint Charity." 
(See Shakspeare's Plays, ]7!).1, xv. 16.1). Mr. Stevens's 
assertion, that "Saint Charity is a knovsTi saint among 
the Roman Catholics," though disputed by a Catholic 
friend, can be supported by infallible authority. "We 
read," says Dr. Douglas, " in the Martyrologj', on the first 
of August, Romrc passio sanctaruni virginum, Fidci. Spei. 
ct Ckaritatis, qua; sub Hadriano principe martyric coro 
nam adeptw sunt."— Criterion, p. 68. r Half. 




Full curtcysly Robyn gan say, 
Syr, have this for your spendyng. 

We shall mete a nother day. 

Gx-amercy, than sayd our kynge ; 120 

But well the greteth Edwarde our kynge, 

And sent to the his seale, 
And byddeth the com to Notyngham, 

Both to mete and mele. y y 

He toke out the hrode tarpe, ^ 125 

And sone he let hym se ; 
Robyn coud his courtej'sy, '^ 

And set hym on his kne : 

''' I love no man in all the worlde 

So well as I do my kynge, 130 

Welcome is my lordes seale ; 

And, raonke, for thy tydynge, 

Syr abbot, for thy tydynges. 

To day thou shalt dyne with me 
For the love of my kynge 1 35 

Under my trystell tre." 

Forth he lad our comly kynge. 

Full fayre by the honde. 
Many a dere there was slayne, 

And full fast dyghtande. ^ 1-10 

^obyn toke a full grete horne. 

And loude he gan blowe. 
Seven score of wyght yonge men, "^ 

Came redy on a rowe. 

All they kneeled on theyr kne. 

Full fayre before Robyn. 145 

The kynge sayd hymselfe untyll. 

And swore by saynt Anstyn, 

Here is a wonder semely syght, 

Me thynketh, by goddes pyne ;'^ 150 

His men are more at his byddynge. 

Then my men be at myn. 

Full hastly was theyr dyner idyght, «^ 

And thei'to gan they gone, 
They served our kynge with al theyr myght, 155 

Both Robyn and Lytell Jolian. 

Anone before our kynge was set 

The fatte venyson, 
The good whyte brede, the good red wyne, 

And therto the fyne ale bi'owne. 160 

Make good chere, sayd Robyn, 

Abbot, for charyte ; 
And for this ylke tydynge, 

Blyssed mote thou be. 

Now shalte thou se what lyfe we lede, 

Or thou hens wende. 
Than thou may enfourme our kynge. 

Whan ye togyder lende. ^ 


Various Readings. 
browne. W- 

■ V. 125. seale. C. 

V. 160. and 

y y Meat and meal, unstinted hospitality. 
^ Qy. ^ Coud his courteysy, understood good manners. 
^ Made ready, disembowelled, or brittled, according to 

the old hunting phrase Ed. c Yeomen. See note f, p. 43. 

'i Goddes pyne, Christ's passion, or crucifixion. 

« Dight, dressed, made ready. f Meet, encoxmter. 



Up they sterte all in hast, 

Theyr bowes were smartly bent, 
Our kynge was never so sore agast, 

He wende s to have be shente.'' 

Two yerdes ' there were up set. 

There to gan they gange ;J 
By fifty pase, our kynge sayd. 

The merkes were to longe. 

On every syde a rose garlonde, 

They shot under the lyne. 
Who so fayleth of the rose garlonde, sayd Robyn, 

His takyll -> he shall tyne, ^ 180 

And yelde it to his mayster, 

Be it never so fyne, 
For no man wyll I spare. 

So drynke I ale or wyne. 

And here a buffet on his hede, 185 

I wys ryght all bare. 
And all that fell in Robyns lote. 

He smote them wonder sare. 

Twyse Robyn shot aboute, 190 

And ever he cleved the wande, 
And so dyde good Gylberte, 

With the whyte hand ; 

Lytell Johan and good Scathelocke, 

For notbyng wolde they spare, 195 

When they fayled of the garlonde, 
Robyn smote them full sare : 

At tlie last shot that Rob^^n shot, 

For all his frendes fare. 
Yet he fayled of the garlonde, 200 

Thre fyngers and mare. 

Than bespake good Gylberte, 

And thus he gan say, 
Mayster, he sayd, your takyll is lost, 

Stand forth and take your pay. 205 

If it be so, sayd Robyn, 

That may no better be ; 
Syr abbot, I delyver the myn arowe, 

I pray the, syr, serve thou me. 

Itfalleth not for myn order, sayd our kynge, 210 

Robyn, by thy leve, 
For to smyte no good yeman. 

For doute I shclde Ii\tii greve. 

Smyte on boldely, sayd Robyn, 

I give the large leve. 
Anone our kynge, with that worde. 

He folde up his sieve, 

And sych a buffet he gave Robyn, 

To grounde he yede full nere. 
I make myn avowe to god, sayd Robyn, 

Thou arte a stalworthe "■ frere ; 



Various Readings.— F". 186. A wys. W. For that shall 
be his fyne. C. V. 193. good whyte. W. lilly white. C. 

s Thought. ^ Hurt, wounded. 

3 Rods. 
J Gan they gange, are they gone, did they go. [Qy. They 
began to go .?— Ed.] ^ Arrows. 

1 Lose, forfeit. '" Stout, well-made. 





There is pith in thjni armc, savd Robyn, 

I trowe thou canst well shote. 
Thus our kynge and Robyn Hode 

Togeder than they met. 22."i 

Rob)Ti behelde our eonily kynge 

V/ystly in the face, 
So dyde syr Richarde at the Le, 

And kneled downe in that place ; 

And so dyde all the wylde outlawes, 230 

Whan they se them knole. 
" My lorde the kynge of Englonde, 

Now I knowe you well." 

Mercy, then Robyn sayd to our kynge, 

Under your trystyll tre ", 235 

Of thy goodnesse and thy grace 
For my men and me ! 

Yes, for god, sayd Robyn, 

And also god me save ; 
I aske mercy, my lorde the kynge, 2 -10 

And for my men I crave. 

Yes, for god, than sayd our kynge 

Thy peticion I graunt the, 
With that thou leve the grene wode. 

And all thy company ; 245 

And come home, syr, to my courto. 

And there dwell with me. 
I make myn avowe to god, sayd Robyn, 

And ryght so shall it be ; 

I wyll come to your courte, 250 

Your servyse for to se, 
And brynge with me of my men 

Seven score and thre. 

But me lyke well your servyse, 

I come agayne full soone, 255 

And shote at the donne » dere, 

As I am wonte to done. 


IIastk thou ony grene cloth ? sayd our kyngo. 
That thou wylte sell nowe to me. 

Ye, for god, sayd Robyn, 
Thyrty ycrdes and thre. 

Robyn, sayd our kynge, 

Now pray 1 the. 
To BcU me some of that cloth, 

To me and my meyne. 

Yes, for god, then sayd Robyn, 
Or elites 1 were a fole ; 

A notlier day ye wyll me clothe, 
1 trowe, '• the Yole n. 


VaU(01;8 llKADlNOS.— F. 240. 

y. i). good. OCC. 
«' 8©o note !>, p. AC). " ] 

And tlierto sent I mc. W 

J Dun. 

P AKiiinbt- 

The kynge kest ^ of his cote then, 
A grene garment he dyde on. 

And eveiy knyght had so, I wys, 
They clothed them full soone. 


Whan they were clothed in Lyncolne gren?. 

They kest away theyr graye. 
Now we shall to Notyngham, 

All thus our kynge gan say. 20 

ThejT bowes bente and forth they went, 

Shotynge all in fere, 
Towarde the towne of Notyngham, 

Outlawes as they were. 

Our kynge and Robyn rode togyder, 25 

For soth as I you say. 
And they shote plucke buffet % 

As they went by the way ; 

And many a buffet our kjTige wan, 

Of Robyn Hode that day ; 1^0 

And nothyn^e spared good Robyn 

Our kynge in his pay. 

So god me helpe, sayd our kynge. 

Thy game is nought to lere, 
I sholde not get a shote of the, 35 

Though I shote all this yere. 

All the people of Notyngham 

They stode and behelde. 
They sawe nothynge but mantels of grene. 

That covered all the felde ; 40 

Than evei'y man to other gan say, 

I drede our kynge be slone ' ; 
Come Robyn Hode to the towne, I wys. 

On lyve he leveth not one. 

Full hastly they began to fle, 45 

Both yemen and knaves, 
And olde wyves that myght cvyll goo, 

They hypped on theyr staves. 

"i'he kynge loughe " full fast, 

And commanded theym agayne ; 60 

When they se our comly kynge, 

I wys they were full fayne •'^. 

They etc and dranke, and made them glad, 

And sange with notes bye. 
Than bespake our comly kyngo 55 

To syr Rycharde at the Lee : 

He gave hym thei'e his londe agayne, 

A good man he bad hym bo. 
Robyn thanked our comly kynge. 

And set hym on his kne. CO 

Various Rbadinos.— F. 16. Another had full sono. W. 
r. 44. Lefte never one. W. V- 49. lughe. W. 

t Cast. 
8 Plucfcc hiiffd. The nicaninR of this tcmi is queried by 
IMr. llitson. May it not signify a shooting-match in 
which tlic loser was bound to stand a buflct from his 
oi)ponent ? A somewhat simihir forfeit is exacted iu cer- 
tain boys' games, as marbles and ball. — Kd. 

t Slain. " Laughed. 

^ Glad. 




Had Robyn dwelled in the kynges courte, 
But twelve raonethes and thre, 

That he had spent an hondred pounde, 
And all his meunes fe r. 

Whan he came to grene wode. 
In a mery mornynge. 

There he herde the notes small. 
Of byrdes mery syngynge. 


In every place where Robyn came, G5 

Ever more he layde downe, 
Both for knyghtes and for squyres, 

To gete hym grete renowue, 

It is ferre gone, sayd Robyn, 
That I was last here. 

Me lyste a lytell for to shote. 
At the donne dere. 


By than the yere was all agone, 

He had no man but twayne 70 
Lytell Johan and good Scathelocke, 
"Wyth him all for to gone. 

Robyn slewe a full grete harte, 
His home than gan he blow, 

That all the outlawes of that forest, 
Tiiat home coud they knowe, 


liobyn sawe yonge men shote, 

Full fa^Te upon a day, 
/vlas ! than sayd good Robyn, 75 

My welthe is went away. 

And gadred them togydei*, 

In a lytell throwe "=, 
Seven score of \\dght yonge men ^, 

Came redy on a rowe ; 

' 125 

Somtyme I was an archere good, 

A styffe and eke a stronge, 
I was commytted^ the best archere, £0 

That was in mery Englonde. 

And fayre dyde of theyr hodes, 
And set them on theyr kne : 

Welcome, they sayd, our mayster, 
Under this greue wode tre. 

Alas ! then sayd good Robyn, 

Alas and well a woo ! 
Yi I dwele lenger with the kynge, 

Sorowe wyll me sloo. 85 

Robyn dwelled in grene wode, 

Tv/enty yere and tv/o, 
For all drede of Edwarde our kynge, 

Agayne wolde he not goo. 


Forth went Robyn Hode, 
Tyll he came to our kynge : 

" My lorde the kynge of Englonde, 
Graunte me myu askynge. 

Yet he was begyled, I wys, 
Through a wycked womkn, 

The pryoresse of Kyrkesly, 
That nye was of his kynne, 


I made a chapell in Bernysdaie, 

That semely is to se, 
It is of Mary Magdalene, 

And thereto wolde I be ; 

I myght never in this seven nyglit, 
No tyme to slepe ne wynke, 

Nother all these seven dayes, 
Nother ete ne drynke. 

]\Ie longeth sore to Bernysdale, 

I may not be thei-fro, 
Barefote and wolwarde'^ I have hygli 

Thyder for to go." 

Yf it be so, than sayd our kynge. 

It may no better be ; 
Seven nyght I gyve the leve. 

No lengre, to dwell fro me. 

Gramercy, lorde, then sayd Robyn, 

And set hym on his kne ; 
He toke his leve full courteysly. 

To grene wode then went he. 

Various Readings. 
mended for. C. 

• r. 74. ferre. W. 




F. 75. com- 

y Fee, wages. z Accounted. 

» Wearing a flannel shirt by Avay of penance. 
Slevens's Shakspeare, 1793, v. 360. 

b Vowed, promised. 

For the love of a knyght, 

S^T Roger of Donkester, 
That was her owne special!, 140 

Full evyll mote they ' fare,' 

They toke togyder thejT counsel! 

Robyn Hode for to sle •=, 
And how they myght best do that dede. 

His banis ^ for to be. 145 

Than bespake good Robyn, 

In place where as he stode, 
To morow I'muste to Kyrkesley, 

Craftelys to be leten blode^ 

Syr Roger of Donkestei'e, 150 

By the pryoresse he lay, 
And there they betrayed good Robyn Hode, 

Through theyr false playe. 

Cryst have mercy on his soule. 

That dyed on the rode ! 155 

For he was a good out lawe, 

And dyde pore men moch god. 

Various Readings. — V- 134. donkesley. IP. V. i'36. the. 
Oid Copies. 

c Space. 

d Yeomen. See note ^, p. 43. 

e Slay. f Bane, destruction. 

S Skilfully, secundum artem. 




Tmscurious, and hitherto unpublished, and even unheard 
of old piece, is given from a manuscript, among bishop 
Mores cullcctions, in the public library of the university of 
Cambridge (Ee. 4. 35). The writing, which is evidently 
that of a vulgar and illiterate person, appears to be of the 
age of Henry the seventh, that is about the year 1 jOO ; but 
the composition (which he has iiremediably corrupted) is 
probably of an carlycr period, and nuicli older, no doubt, 
than " The play of liobyn Ilode," which seems allusive to 
the same story. At the end of the original is " Explcycyt 
Robyn Hode." 

In schomer'', when the leves spryiig, 

The blosehems ' on every bowe '% 
So merey doy t ' the berdys syng, 

Yn wodys ■" merey now. 

Herkens, god yemen, ."> 

Com ley, cortessey ", and god, 
On of the best that yever bar bou », 

Hes name was Roben Hode. 

Roben Hood was the yomans name. 

That was boyt p corteys and ire ; ] 

For the loffe ^ of owr ladey. 
All wemen werschcp •" * he.' 

Bot as the god ycman stod on a day, 

Among hes mery maney *, 
He was war of a prowd potter, 15 

Cam dryfyng owyr the ' ley.' 

Yonder comet a prod potter, seyde Roben, 
That long ha}t ' hantyd this wey, 

He was never so corteys a man 

On peney of pawagc " to pay. -20 

Y met hem bot at Wentbreg, seyde Lytyll John, 
And th^rfor ycffell ^ mot he the, 

Seche thre strokes he me gafe, 
' Yet they cleffe by my seydys. 

Y ley forty shillings, seyde Lytyll John, 25 
To pay het v thes same day, 

Ther ys nat a man among hus ^ all 
A wed " schall make hem ley. 

Her ys forty shillings, soydo Roben, 

Mor, and thow dar say, 30 

That y schall make that prowde potter, 
A wed to mo schall he ley. 

Thor thes money they loyde. 

They toke het a yeman to kope ; 
Roben befor the potter he breyde *>, MS 

' And up to horn can lope.' 

VarioiisReadinos.— r. 12. yc. r. 16. lefo. r. 17. svde. 
y. 21. 8ydo. y. 27. hya. V. 28. loffe. 

• Rlosaoms. '' Bough. ' Doth. do. 

«' Courteous. " Bow. i' Hotli. 

Reverenced, respected. 

., Jr. » Hath. 

Pawnf/r, or pnvai/e. A toll or duty payable foi- the 
libfrty of passing over the soil or territojy of another* 
paaiihnii, d. x llvil. 

•, ylodgo, or deposit. 

•> Summer. 
"> Woods. 

n Love. 
Attendants, retinue; viesjiic, 

It. ' U. 

^ Started, Btcpt hastily. 

Handys apon hes horse he leyde. 

And bad ' hem ' stonde foil stell. 
The potter schorteley to iiem seyde, 

Felow, what ys they well I 40 

All thes thre yer, and mor, potter, he seyde, 

Thow hast hantyd thes wey. 
Yet wer tow never so cortys a man 

One peney of pauage "^ to pay. 

W'hat ys they name ? seyde the potter ; 4.') 

For pauage thow aske of me. 
" Roben Hod ys mey name, 

A wed schall thow leffe '' me." 

Wed well y non leffe, seyde the potter 

Nor pavag ^ well y non pay ; 50 

Awey they Iionde fro mey hoi*se, 

Y well the tone ^ eyls, be mey fay. 

The potter to hes cart he went. 

He was not to seke, 
A god to-hande staffe therowt he hent s, 56 

Befor Roben he ' lepe.' 

Roben howt with a swerd bent ^, 
A bokeler en hes honde [thcrto] ; 

The potter to Roben he went, 

And seyde, Felow, let mey horse go. 60 

Togeder then went thes two yemen, 

Het was a god seyt to se ; 
Therof low ' Robyn hes men, 

Ther they stod onder a tre. 

Le,>i;ell John to hes felow he seyde, 65 

Yend ^ potter welle steffeley stonde. 

The pottei*, with a caward ' stroke, 
Smot the bokeler owt of hes honde ; 

And ar "^ Roben meyt get het agen, 

Hes bokeler at hes fette, 70 

The potter yn the neko hem toke, 
To the gronde sone he yede. 

That saw Roben hes men. 

As thay stode ender " a bow : 
Let us hclpe owr master, seycd Lj-tell John, 75 

Yonder potter els well hem sclo°. 

Thes yemen went with a breyde '% 

To * ther ' master they cam. 
Leytell John to hes master seyde, 

Ho haet the wager won ? 80 

Schall y half j'owr forty shillings, seyde Lytel 
Or ye, master, schall haffe myne ? [John, 

*• Yeff they wer a hundred, seyde Roben, 

Y feythe, they ben all theyne. 

Various Readings.— T. 36. A bad hem stond still. 
V. 38. the potter. V. 56. leppyd. V. 69. A. V. 76. seyde 
hels. V. 77. went yemen. V. 78. thes. V. 82. lytl. 

c See v. 20. «l Leave. " See verse 20. 

f Grieve. « Took, caught. 

l> Bent Mr. Ritson makes a query here ; the moaning 
appears to us to be, " Robin out with a sword, turned 
totoards, or pointed at his adversary," the word boit being 
used in the same sense as when we speak of a person hav- 
ing bent his eyes upon another — Ed. > Laughed. 
I* Yon. ' Awkward, or backward. See Awkward, p. 63. 
«n Ere. " Under. « Sl;iy. 
P Start, quick or liitsty step. 'i 1 f . 







When Roben earn to Notynggam, 
The soyt yef y scliolde saye. 

He set op hes horse anon, 

And gaffe hem hotys s and haye. 

Yii the medysi' of the to^nie, 

Ther he schowed hes war, 
Pottys ! pottys ! he gan crey foil sone, 

Haffe hansell for the mar 'K 

, Various Readings. — V. 90. yemercy, 
V. 104. yede. 

V- 101. grat. 

Het ys fol leytell cortesey, seyde the potter, 85 

As y haffe harde weyse men saye, 
Ycff a por yeman com drywyng ower the wey, 

To let ^ hem of hes gorney ^. 

Be mey trowet *, thow seys soyt ", seyde Roben, 
Thow seys god yemenrey -''' ; 90 

And thow dreyffeV forthe yevery day, 
Thow schalt never be let * for me. 

Y well prey the, god potter, 

A felischepe well thow haffe? 
Geffe me they cloth yng, and thow schalt hafe 
Y well go to Notynggam. [myne ; 95 I 

Robyn went to Notynggam, 

Thes pottes for to sell ; 
The potter abode with Robens men, 

Ther he fered » not eylle ^. 100 

Y grant therto, seyde the potter, 
Thow schalt feynde me a felow gode ; 

Bot thow can sell mey pottes well, 
Com ayen as thow yode. 

Nay, be mey trowt, seyde Roben, 

And then y bescro *-' mey hede, 
Yeffe y bryng eney pottes ayen. 

And eney weyffe well hem chepe <i. 

Than spake Leytell John, 

And all hes felowhes heynd "^j 110 

Master, be well war of the screffe of Notynggam, ' 

For he ys leytell howr frende. * j 

Thoi'ow the helpe of hoA\T ladey, i 

Felowhes, let me alone ; i 

Heyt war howte f, seyde Roben, 
To Notynggam well y gon. 

Tho Roben droffe on hes wey. 

So merey ower the londe. 
Heres mor and affter ys to saye. 

The best ys beheynde. 


>• Hinder. s Journey. t Troth. u Sooth, truth. 

^ Thou seys god yemenrey. Thou speakest honestly, fairly, 
eensibly, like a good yeoman. y Drive. z Hindered. 

a Fared, lived. b This stanza is evidently misplaced ; 
it should be either the last but one of the present, or the 
first of the next fit. 

•^ Beshrew. [A curse invoking sorrow, Beshrew thee, 
sorrow be to thee.— Ed.] d Cheapen, buy. 

<^ Gentle, courteous. t Qy. g Oats, 

^ Midst, middle. 

' Tlic vender of any wares is said to receive hansel of his 

Foil effen agenest the screffeys gate, 

Schowed he hes chaffar^ ; 130 

Weyffes and wedowes abowt hem drow, 
And chepyd ^ fast of hes war. 

Yet, Pottys, great chepe ™ ! cryed Robyn, 

Y loffe yeffell " thes o to stonde. 

And all that saw hem sell, 1 35 

Seyde he had be no potter long. 

The pottys that wer werthe pens feyffe, 

He solde tham for pens thre : 
Preveley seyde man and weyffe, 

Ywnder potter schall never the p. 140 

Thos Roben solde foil fast. 

Tell he had pottys bot feyffe i ; 
Op he hem toke of his car. 

And sende hem to the screffeys >" weyffe. 

Therof sche was foil fajTie, 1 45 

Gereamarsey % sir, than seyde sclie, 
When ye com to thes contre ayen, 

Y schall bey of ' they ' pottys, so mot y the. 

Ye schall haffe of the best, seyde Roben, 

And swar be the treneyt^. 150 

Foil corteysley 'she ' gan hem call, 
Com deyne with the screfe and me. 

Godamarsey *, seyde Roben, 

Yowr bedyng schall be doyn ^. 
A mayden yn the pottys gan ber, 155 

Roben and the screffe weyffe folowed anon. 

Whan Roben ynto the hall cam, 

The screffe sone he met. 
The potter cowed of corteysey ^, 

And sone the screffe he gret y. 160 

" Loketh what thes potter hayt geffe ^ yow and 
Feyffe pottys smalle and grete !" [me, 

He ys fol wellcom, seyd the screffe. 
Let 08=* was^*, and * go' to mete. 

As they sat at her methe'=, 1G5 

With a nobell cher. 
Two of the screffes men gan speke 

Off a gret wag^r, 

VARiousiBEADiNGS. — V. 135. say. y. 146. seyde sche 

s' than. V. 148. the. V. 151. he. F. m . Loseth. 

V. 164. to. 

first customer ; but the meaning of the text, Hoffe hansel 
for the mar, is not understood, unless it can be thought to 
imply. Give me hansel, i. e., buy of my pots. 

k ChafTer, merchandize. 1 Cheapened, bought. 

^ Very cheap : a tres-bon marchi, Fr, « Evil. 

o Thus, P Thrive. q Five. r Sheriffs. 

s Gramercy, thanks, or many thanks ; grand merci, Fr. 

t See Gereamarsey, above. 

1 Bedyng, asking. Your bedyng schall be doyn ; your 
invitation shall be complied with. 

s Could, knew. Cowed of corteysey, understood good 
manners. 7 Gi'eeted, saluted. ^ Given. " Us. 

t> Wash. " And afterward the justices arise and wasse, 
and geffe thanks onto the new serjaunts for ther gode 
dyner." (Origines juridiciales, p. 116.) This ceremony, 
which, in former times, was constantly practised as well 
before as after meat, seems to have fallen into disuse on 
the introduction of forks, about the year 1620 ; as before 
that period our ancestors supplied the place of this neces- 
sary utensil with their fingers, c Meat. 




Was made the thother daye, 

Ott' a schotyng was god and feyno, 1 70 

OH" forty sliillings, the soyt'' to saye, 

Who scholde thes wager wen. 

Styll than sat tlies prowde potter, 

Thos«= than thowt lie, 
As y am a trow' Cei-stynK man, 1 7.") 

Thes schot}Tig well y se. 

Whan they had fared of the best, 

With bred and ale and weyne, 
To the ' bottys** they' made them pi'cst'j 

With bowes and boltysJ foil feyue. 180 

The screffes men schot foil fast, 

As archares that weren godde, 
Ther cam nou ner ney the marke 

Bey halfe a god arehares bowe. 

Stell then stod the prowde potter, 185 

Thos than seyde he, 
And y had a bow, be the rode''', 

On schot scholde yow se. 

Thow schall haffe a bow, seyde the screffc. 
The best that thow well cheys' of thre ; 190 

Thow semyst a stalward '" and a strouge, 
Asay" schall thow be. 

The screffe comandyd a yeman that stod hem bey 

Affter bowhes to wende ; 
The best bow that the yeman browthc 1 95 

Roben set on a stryng. 

" Now schall y wet and thow be god,° 

And poUe het op to they ner p." 
So god me helpe, seyde the prowde potter, 

Thys ys bot rygzt weke gerq. 200 

To a quequer '' Roben went, 

A god bolt owthe'* he toke, 
So ney on to the marke he went, 

He fayled not a fothe'. 

All they schot abowthe agen, 205 

The screffes men and he, 
Off the marke he welde not fayle, 

He cleffed the preke" on thre. 

The screffes men thowt gret schame, 

The potter the mastry wan ; 210 

The screffc lowe and made god game, 
And seydi'. Potter, thow art a man ; 

Thow art worthey to ber a bowe, 
Yii what plas that thow < gang.' 

Various Ukadisos.— VV. 100. 170. These (wo lines arc 
transjiosfd in the MS. T. I?.'', pottya the. V. )80. 

bolt yt. V. I'Jl. senyst. V. 214. goe. 

«i Sootli, truth. <" Thus. f True. 

K Christian. *• Butts, marks for shooting at. 

• Ready, rcndy to go. 
.' A bolt was an arrow of a i):uticular kind, used for 
pliooting at a mark or at birds. ^ Crucifix. 

' ChooHc. •" Stout, well-made. " Essaycil, tried, proved. 
•> Wit (know) and (an, if) tliou art good. P Eai-. 

1 Gear. Btuff, goods, property, effcets. ' Quiver. 

» Out. ' Foot. 

■ A piece of wood in the centre of the target. 

Yn mey cart y haffe a bowe, 215 

Forsoyt^, he seyde, and that a godde ; 

Yn mey cart ys the bow 

That ' I had of Robyn Hode.' 

Knowest thow Robyn Hode ? seyde the screffe. 
Potter, y prey the tell thou me. 220 

'•' A hundred torne y haffe schot with hem. 
Under hes tortyll'^ tre." 

Y had lever nar a hundred ponde, seyde the screffe. 
And swar be the trenit^, 

[ Yhadleveruaryahundredponde,he seyde,] 225 
That the fals owtelawe stod be me. 

And ye well do afftyr mey red, seyde the potter. 

And bokleley go with me. 
And to morow, or we het^ bred, 

Roben Hode wel we se. 230 

Y well queyt" the, kod'' the screffe, 
And swer be god of mey the <^. 

Schetyng'' thay left, and horn they went, 
•■Her scoper' was I'edey dey tiles'' 

Upon the morow, when het'» was day, '2.j.> 

He boskyd' hem forthe to reyde ; 

The potter hes carte forthe gan rayk. 
And wolde not [be] leffe^ beheynde. 

He toke leffe"^ of the screffys w'yffe. 

And thankyd her of all thjnig : 210 

" Dain, for mey loffe, and ye well thys wer, 
Y geffe yow her a golde ryng."_ 

Gramarsey", seyde the weyffe, 

Sii', god eyldeo het the. 
The screffes hart was never so leytheP, 24.3 

The feyr forest to se. 

And when he cam ynto the foreyst, 

Yonder 1 the leffes grene, 
Berdys ther sange on bowhes prest, 

Het was gret goy' to sene*. 2r)0 

Her het' ys merey to be, seyde Roben, 
For a man that had iiawt" to spende : 

Be mey home * we' schall awet^ 
Yeff Roben Hode be * ner hande.' 

Roben set hes home to hes mowthe, 2.k'> 

And blow a blast that was foil god, 

That herdc hes men that ther stode, 
Fer downe yn the woddc. 

I her mey master, seyde Leytyll John : 

They ran as thay wer wode?". 2u0 

Vaiuous Rsadings, — V. 218. that RobjTig gafTo me. 
r. 232. mey they. K. 254. he. F. 255. 

her. V. 25!). For. 

V Forsooth, truly. 
" Wreathed, twined, twirled, twisted ; tordlh', Fr. 

y Nor than. » Kat. » Quit, recompense, 

t Quoth. c Might. <^ Shooting. « Their. 

'Supper. K DJght, dressed. •> It 

' Husked, prepared, got ready. •« Array, put in order. 

' Left. "' Leave 

" Thanks, or many thanks; py<nHl mcrri. Vr. " Yield. 
!• Light. q Under. «■ J(>y. ^ Sec. ' It. 

" Aught, anything, something. * Wit, know, r .Afad. 




Whan thay to thar master cam, 

Ley tell John wold not spar : 
'• Master, how haffe yow far yn Notynggara ? 

" Haffe yow solde yowr war ? " 

'' Ye, be mey trowthe, Leytyll John, 2^)5 

Loke thow take no car ; 

Y haffe browt the screffe of Notynggam, 
For all howr chaffar." 

lie ys foil wellcom, seyde Lytyll John, 

Thes tydyng ys foil godde. 270 

The screffe had lever nar^ a hundred ponde 
He had never sene Roben Hode. 

" Had I west that beforen% 

At Notynggam when we wer, 
Thow scholde not com yn feyr forest 275 

Of all thes thowsande eyr^. 

"• That wot y well, seyde Roben, 

Y thanke god that y be her ; 

Therfor schall ye leffe yowr horse with bos'". 
And all your bother ger. 280 

That fend 1 godys forbode'', kod the screffe, 

So to lese mey godde ^. 
" H ether ye cam on horse soil hey^ 

And hom scha,ll ye go on fote ; 
And gret well they weyffe at home, 285 

The woman ys foil godde ^. 

Y scLhII ber sende a wheyt palflTrey, 
Heti: hambellet^ as the weynde ; 

Nei-' for the loffe of yowr weyffe. 

Off mor sorow scholde yow seyng.'' 253 

Thes parted Robyn Hode and the screffe, 
To Notynggam he toke the waye ; 

Hes weyffe feyr welconied hem hom. 
And to hem gan sche saye : 

Sej'r, how haffe yow fared yn grene foreyst? 295 

Haffe ye browt Roben hom 1 
" Dam, the deyell'^ spede hem, bothe bodey and 

Y haffe hade a foil grete skorne. [bon. 

Of all the god' that y haffe lade to grene wod. 
He hayt take het fro me, 300 

All bot this feyr palffrey. 
That he hayt sende to the." 

With that sche toke op a lowde lawhyng. 
And swhar be hem that deyed on tre. 

Now haffe yow payed for all the pottys 305 

That Roben gaffe to me. 

Various Readings.— F. 263. How haffe. V. 266. I 

leyty. V. 274. He had west. V- 279. that ye be. 

V. 284, y. V. 288. The MS. repeats this line after, the 

foUoicing .- Het ambellet be mey sey. 

z jVor, than. » Before. ^ Year. c Us. 

•■' That fend I fiodys forbodc. Mr. llitson explams/c'?!(?, 
as defend; a,n(X forbade, as commandment ; but queries 
the sense of the passage. Fend, is rightly interpreted as 
defend, used here in its legitimate sense as forbid, xjrohibit. 
Forbode, is more properly a commandment not to do, a 
prohibition, than a simple commandment. The sentence 
in modern English would consequently run thus : That 
forbids God's prohibition, i. e. it is contrary to God's com- 
mandment. The " I," is manifestly an interpolation. — En. 

e Goods, property. f Good. S It, h Ambleth. 

■ Nor were it, were it not. 5^ Devil. ^ Good, goods, property. 

Now ye be com hom to Notynggam, 

Ye schall haffe god ^nowe." 
Now speke we of Roben Hode, 

And of the pottyr onder the grene bowhe. 3 1 

" Potter, what was they pottys worthe 
To Notynggam that y ledde with me ?" 

They wer worth two nobellys'", seyd he, 
So mot" y treyffe" or the ; 

So cowde y had for tham, 315 

And y had ther be. 

Thow schalt hafe ten ponde, seyde Robert, 

Of money feyr and fre ; 
And yever whan thow comest to grene wod, 

Wellcom, potter, to me. 320 

Thes partyd Robyn, the screffe, and the potter, 

Ondernethe the grene wod tre. 
God haffe mersey on Roben Hodys solle. 

And saffe all god yeraanrey ! 


This poem, a north country (or, perhaps, Scotish) com- 
position of some antiquity, is given from a modern copy 
printed at Newcastle, Avherethe editor accidentally picked 
it up : no other having, to his knoM'ledge, been ever seen 
or heard of. The corruptions of the press being equally 
numerous and minute, some of the most trilling have 
been corrected without notice. But it may bo proper to 
mention that each line of the printed copy is here thrown 
into two ; a step which, though absolutely necessary from 
the narrowness of the page, is sufficiently justified by th« 
frequent recurrence of the double rime. The division of 
stanzas was conceived to be a still further improvement. 
— The original title is, " A pretty dialogue betwixt Robin 
Hood and a beggar." 

Lytiip and listen, gentlemen. 

That be of high born blood, 
I'll tell you of a brave booting i 

That befell Robin Hood. 

Robin Hood upon a day, •■> 

He Avent forth him alone. 
And as he came from Barnsdale 

In'to fair evening. 

He met a beggar on the way. 

Who sturdily could gang'"; 10 

He had a pike-staff in his hand 

That was both stark ^ and Strang' ; 

A clouted^ clock ^ about him was. 

That heldy him frae^ the cold. 
The thinnest bit of it, I guess, 15 

Was more then twenty fold. 

His meal -poke ^ hang about his neck, 

Into a leathern whang '"^j 
Well fasten'd to a broad bucle, 

That was both stark and ' Strang.' 20 

Various Readings.— F. 31 1. bowhes. V. 317. be ther. 

^1 Nobles. The noble was 
Blight. o Thrive, 

q Booting, Qy. ^ Go. 
w Patched. ^ Cloak. 

a gold coin, value 6s. 8d. 
P Attend, hear, hearken, 
s Stiff. t Strong, 
y Kept. z From. 

Jleal-bag ; bag in which oatmeal is put. 1> Thong or string. 




He had three hats upon his head, 

Together slicked fast, 
lie car'd neither for wind nor wet, 

In lands where'er he past. 

Good Robin cast him in the way, 25 

To see what he might be, 
If any beggar had money, 

He' thought some part had he. 

Tarry, tarry, good Robin says, 

TaVry, and i^peak with me. 30 

He heard him as he heard him not, 

And fast ou his way can hy. 

"Tis be not so, says [good] Robin, 

Nay, thou must tarry still. 
By my troth, said the bold beggar, 35 

Of that I have no will. 

It is far to my lodging house, 

And it is growing late, 
If they have supt e'er I come in 

I will look wondrous blate^^. 40 

Now, by my truth, says good Robin, 

I sec well by thy fai'e. 
If thou shares well to thy supp<^r, 

Of mine thou dost not care, 

Who wants my dinner all this day, 45 

And wots not where to ly. 
And would I to the tavern go, 

I want money to buy. 

Sir, you must lend me some mom-y 

Till wc meet again. 50 

The beggar answer'd cankardly'', 

I have no money to lend. 

Thou art a young man as I, 

And seems to be as sweer« ; 
If thou fast till thou get from me, 55 

Thou shalt cat none this year. 

Now, by my truth, says [good] Robin, 

Since we are asembled so. 
If thou hi\s but a small fai-thing, 

I'll have it e'er thou go. 60 

Come, lay down thy clouted cloak, 

And do no longer stand. 
And loose the strings of all thy i)okeiB, 

I'll ripe them with my hand. 

yViul now to thee I make a vow, fi.') 

If thou' make any din, 
I shall see a broad arrow. 

Can pierce a beggar's skin. 

The beggar smil'd, and answer made, 

I'ar lictter let mo be ; 70 

Think not that I will be afraid, 
For thy nip^ crooked tree ; 

Varioiib Keadino.— K. 24. wher'c. 

c Bhccpinh, orfooliah, as wo should now say. 
d PeevWily, with ill temper. « Qy. 

' Nip (In Hcotch), parinp, sliml. little bit. q. d. Your 
paltry bit of a stick or bird bolt.— I'2d. 

Or that I fear thee any whit, 

For thy curn« nips of sticks, 
I know no use for tliem so meet 

As to be puding-pricks''. 

Here I defy thee to do me ill. 

For all thy boisterous fair', 
Thou's get nothing from me but ill, 

Would'st thou seek evermair. 

Good Robin bent his noble bow. 

He was an angery man. 
And in it set a broad an-ow ; 

Lo ! e'er 'twas drawn a span, 

The beggar, with his noble tree'', 

Reach'd him so round a rout. 
That his bow and his broad arrow 

In flinders' flew about. 

Good Robin bound™ him to his brand. 
But that prov'd likewise vain, 

The beggar lighted on his hand 
With his pike-staff again : 

[I] wot he might not draw a sword 

For forty days and mair". 
Good Robin could not speak a word. 

His- heart was ne'er so sair°. 

He could not fight, he could not flee, 

He wist not what to do ; 
The beggar with his noble tree 

Laid lusty slaps him to. 

He paidi' good Robin back and side, 
And baisf him up and down. 

And with his pyke-staft' laid on loud, 
Till he fell in a swoon. 

Stand up, man, the beggar said, 

'Tis shame to go to rest ; 
Stay till thou get thy money told, 

I think it were the best : 

And sync go to the tavern house. 

And buy both wine and ale ; 
Hereat thy friends will crack*" full erouse' 

Thou hast been at the dale. 

Good Robin answer'd ne'er a word. 

But lay still as a stane" ; 
His chceics were pale as any clay, 

And closed were his cen^. 

The beggar thought him dead but faih 
And boldly bound' his way. — 

I would ye had been at the dale. 
And gotten part of the play. 

80 ; 



!)5 1 

100 ! 





Varkh's Rkading.— F. HG. closd. Wc ini^lit read : 
And clos'd were [baith] his een. 

g Qy. 1> Skewers that fasten the piuiaing-bag. 

i Fare, ado. ^ Staff. I Splinters. '" Betcok. 

"More. "Sore. l> Beat. q Basted, belaboured. 

r After, afterward, then. « Boast. 'Brisk. "Stone, 

» FyoM. r But fail. Without fail, without doubt. 

■>■ Went, betook himself to. 





Now three of Robin's men, by chance, 

Came walking by the way, 
And found their master in a trance, 

On ground where that he lay. 

Up have they taken good Robin, 

Makmg a pitious bear". 
Yet saw they no man there at whom 

They might the matter spear''. 

They looked him all round about. 

But wound on him saw ' nane''-, 10 

Yet at his mouth came bocking'' out 

The blood of a good vain. 

Cold water they have gotten syne, 

And cast unto his face ; 
Then he began to hitch his ear, 1 5 

And speak within short space. 

Tell us, dear master, said his men. 

How with you stands the case. 
Good Robin sigh'd e'er he began 

To tell of his disgrace. • 20 

'^ I have been watchman in this wood 

Near hand this twenty year, 
Yet I was never so hard bestead « 

As ye have found me here ; 

A beggar with a clouted clock, 25 

Of whom I fear'd no ill 
Hath with his pyke-staff cla'd^ my back, 

I fear 'twill never be well. 

See, where he goes o'er yon hill. 

With hat upon his head ; oO 

If e'er ye lov'd your master well. 

Go now revenge this deed ; 

And bring him back again to me, 

If it lie in your might ^, 
That I may see, before I die, 35 

Him punish 'd in my sight : 

And if you may not bring him back, 

Let him not go loose on ; 
For to us all it were great shame 

If he escape again." 40 

" One of us shall with you remain, 

Because you're ill at ease. 
The other two shall bring him back. 

To use him as you please." 

Now, by my truth, says good Robin, 45 

I trueii thei-e's enough said ; 
And he get scouth' to wield his tree, 

I fear you'll both be paidJ. 

a Moan, lamentation, ouicvy. [This is a very singular 
use of this word, nor are we aware of any other instance in 
which it occurs in this sense as a substantive. — Ed.] 
^ Ask, inquire. c None. 

^ Pouring, flowing. e Beset, put to it. 

f Scratched. s Power. 

I- Trow, believe. » Scope, space.— E».. 

•'J Beaten. 

" Be not fear'd, our master, 

That we two can be dung^ 50 

With any bluter^ base beggar. 

That has nought but a rung"". 

His staff shall stand him in no stead, 

That you shall shortly see, 
But back again he shall be led, 55 

And fast bound shall he be. 
To see if ye will have him slain, 

Or hanged on a tree." 

" But cast you sliely in his way. 

Before he be aware, 60 

And on his pyke-stafF first hands lay, 

Ye'll speed the better far." 

Now leave -vve Robin with his man, 

Again to play the child. 
And learn himself to stand and gang 65 

By balds", for all his eildo. 

Now pass we to the bold beggar, 

That rakedP o'er the hill. 
Who never mended his pace more, 

Then he had done no ill. 70 

lAnd they have taken another way, 
Was nearer by miles three. 

They stoutly ran with all their might, 

Spared neither dub'^ ' nor' mire, 
They started at neither how* nor height, 7- 

No travel made them tire, 

Till they before the beggar wan *, 

And cast them in his way ; 
A little wood lay in a glen°. 

And there they both did stay ; SO 

They stood up closely by a tree, 

In each side of the gate^, 
Untill the beggar came them nigh, 

That thought of no such late '^ : 

And as he was betwixt them past, 8.' 

They leapt upon him baith^ ; 
The one his pyke-staff gripped^ fast. 

They feared for its skaiih'*. 

The other he held in his sight 

A dra^ven durk'' to his breast, 90 

And said. False ' carel<=,' quit thy stafi'. 

Or I shall be thy priest. 

k Beaten, overcome. 

1 Bluter. Mr. Ritson queries the meaning of tliis word. 
It is possible that it is the same as bloated, and used in the 
sense of puffed up, arrogant, or saucy. A Scottish friend 
informs us that, in Scotch, Bluter signifies to bubble up, 
splutter.— Ed. m Staff, 

n Holds, holding places, supports, o Age. P Walked apace- 

q The preceding lines of this stanza are wanting in the 
original. ^ Shallow miry pool, s Hill, t Got. ^ Valley. 

V Way, gate, is a common word in the north for way P. 

X Lake, play, game ? [Qy. Is this not a forced abbrevia- 
tion of laying in wait, used by the minstrel for the sake of 
the rhyme? or perhaps we should read ^e^, i.e. hindrance. 
—Ed.] y Both. z Grasped, laid hold of. 

a They feared for its skaitli. They feared for the harm it 
might do them. b Dagger. 

c Carle, old fellow, [Anglo-Saxon, Ceorl, a labouring 
man, a rustic. Carel, carl, in the ancient language of 
Germany, signifies robust, strong.] 



11013IN HOOD. 

His pyke-staft' they have talven him frae, 

And stuciv it in tlie given, 
He was full loath to let it gac, f>.i 

An hotter might it been. 

The beggar was the fcardost*' man 

Of any that e'er might l>e, 
To wijr" away no way he can, 

Nor help him with his tree. 100 

Nor wist he wlierefore he was ta'en, 

Nor how many was there ; 
Jle thought his life days had been gano, 

He grew into dispair. 

Grant me my life, the beggar said, iOw 

For him that dy'd on the tree, 
And hold away that ugly knife. 

Or else for ieai* I'll die. 

I griev'd you never in all my life, 

Neither by late or air^, 110 

You have great sin if you would slay 

A silly poor beggiir. 

Thou Hes, false lown^, they said again, 

For all that may be sworn ; 
TIiou hast * near' slain the gentlest man 113 

Of one that e'er was born ; 

And back again thou shall be led, 

And fast bound shalt thou be, 
To see if he will have thee slain, 

Or hanged on a tree. TJO 

The beggar then thought all was wrong, 

They were set for his wrack';, 
Ho saw nothing appearing then, 

But ill upon warsc' back. 

Were he out of their hands, he thought, l-2'> 

And had again his tree, 
He should not be led back for nought. 

With such as he did see. 

Then he bethought liim on a w ile. 

If it coiiM take effect, j.'iO 

How he might the young men beguile, 

And give them a begecki<. 

Thus to do them shame for ill 

His beastly breast was bent, 
He found tlie wind blew sonietliing shrill, 1."'.") 

To fiu'ther his intent. 

I lo said, Dravc gentlemen, bo good. 

And let a poor man 1)e ; 
When ye have taken a beggar's blood. 

It helps you not a flee'. 140 

It was but in my o^n defence. 

If he has gotten skaith ; 
But I w ill make a recompence 

la better for you baith. 

Various Rbadino.— r. 132. gave, bcgack. 

«• Fcarfulost, most frighten* or afraid. 

« (Jet. ' i::irly. 

K Villain, knave, base fellow. 

'' Itiiin, destruction. « Worse. 

•» I'loy them a trick, make fools of tliein. 

i Fly. 

If ye will set me fair and free, 145 

And do me no more dear'". 
An hundred pounds I will you give. 

And much more odd silver. 

That I have gather'd this many years. 

Under this clouted cloak, 1 jO 

And hid up wonder privately. 
In bottom of my poke". 

Tlie young men to the coimcil yeed'^, 

And let the beggar gae p ; 
They wist full well he had no speed 1 55 

Ironi them to run away. 

They thought they would the money take. 

Come aftc^r what so may : 
And yet they would not take him back, 

But in that place him slay. 1 60 

By that good Robin would not know 

That they ha.d gotten coin. 
It would content him [well] to show 

That there they had him slain. 

They said, False carel, soon have done, 1 Go 

And tell forth thy money. 
For the ill turn that thou hast done 

It's but a simple lAee. 

And yet we will not have thee back, 

Come after what so may, 170 

If thou will do that which thou spak. 
And make us present pay. 

then he loosed his clouted clock. 

And spread it on the ground, 
And thereon lay he many a poke, '..75 

Betwixt them and the wind. 

He took a great bag from his hals^. 

It was near full of meal. 
Two pecks in it at least there was, 

And more, I wot full well. ] SO 

Upon this cloak he set it down. 

The mouth he opened wide, 
To turn the same he made him bown >", 

The young men ready spy'd ; 

In every hand he took a nook 185 

Of that great leathren ' mail,' 
And with a fling the meal he shook 

Into their face all hall'' : 

Wherewith he blinded them so close, 

A stime' they could not see ; 190 

And then in heart he did rejoice. 
And clap'd his lusty tree. 

He thought if he had done them wror.g, 

In mealing of their cloaths, 
For to strike off the meal again J 03 

With his pyke-staff he goes. 

Varioi's Readings. — K. 153. yecn. V. l/l- spok. 

V. 177. half. V. 183. bound. V. IBG. bug. V. I'M. 

'=' IFanii. " " 

I' Go. q Neck. r 

s Al( hail, wholly, entirely. 

' .'^park, particle of liglit. 





E'er auy of them could red^ their een, 

Oi' a glimmring might see, 
Illce'^ one of them a dozen had. 

Well laid on with his tree. 200 

The young men were right swift of foot, 

And boldly bound away^. 
The beggar could them no more bit. 

For all the haste he may. 

What's all this haste ? the beggar said, 205 

May not you tarry still. 
Until your money be received ? 

I'll pay you with good will. 

The shaking of my pokes, I fear, 

Hath blown into your een ; "210 

But I have a good pyke-staff here 

Can ripe'^ them cut full clean. 

The young men answered never a word, 

They were dum as a stane ; 
In the thick wood the beggar fled, 215 

E'er they riped their een : 

And syne the night became so late, 

To seek him was in vain : 
But judge ye if they looked blate '^ 

When they cam home again. 220 

Good Robin speer'd'' how they had sped. 

They answered him. Full ill. 
That can not be, good Robin says, 

Ye have been at the mill. 

The mill it is a meat rife<^ part, 225 

They may lick what they please, 
Most like ye have been at the art. 

Who would look at your ' claiths.' 

They hang'd their heads, they drooped down, 
A word they could not speak. 230 

Robin said, Because I fell a sound d^ 
I think ye'll do the hke. 

Tell on the matter, less or more, 

And tell me what and how 
Ye have done with the bold beggar 235 

I sent you for right now. 

And when they told him to an end, 

As i have said before. 
How that the beggar did them blind, 

What misters^ presses more ? 240 

And how in the thick woods he fled. 
E'er they a stime could see ; 

And how they scarcely could win home, 245 
Their bones were baste' so sore ; 

Good Robin cry'd, Fy ! out ! for shame ! 
We're sham'd for evermore. 

Altho good Robin would full fain 

Of his wrath revenged be, 250 

He smiPd to see his merry young men 

Had gotten a taste of the tree. 

Var. Readings— F. 206. tliou. F.221. speed. r.228.cloatlis. 

'1 Clear. ^ Each. r Briskly scampered off. 

^ Cleanse. a Sheepish or foolish. b Asked, inquired. 
c Meat-rife part, place aboundirg in victuals, 
d A stfjmrfjina swoon. « Need. ^ Basted, belaboured. 


is reprinted from the " Reliqiies of ancient English 
poetry," published by Dr. Percy, (Vol. I. p. 81.) who there 
gives it from his " folio MS." as " never before printed, and 
' carrying' marks of much greater antiquity than any of 
the common popular songs on this subject :'* sentiments, 
to which, if the authority be genuine, and the publication, 
faithful, (both which, by the way, they who are acquainted 
with Dr, Percys book, will have sufficient reason to doubt,) 
the present editor has nothing to object.s: 

As for Guy of Gisborne, the only further memorial which 
has occiu-ed concerning him is in an old satyrical piece by 
William Dunbar, a celebrated Scotish poet, of the 15th 
century, on one " Schir Thomas Nory," (MS. Maitland, p. 
3. MSS. More, LI. 5. 10.) where he is named along with our 
hero, Adam BeU, and other worthies, it is conjectured of a 
similar stamp, but whose merits have not, less fortunately, 
come to the knowledge of posterity. 

« Was neuir weild Robeine vnder bewch, 

" Nor zitt Roger of Clekkinslewch , 
" So bauld a bairne as he ; 

" Gy ov Gysburne, na AUane Bell, 

" IS'a Simones sones of Quhynsell, 
" Off thocht war neuir so slie." 
Gisborne is a market town in the west riding of the 
county of York, on the borders of Lancashire. 

S In the fourth edition of the " P. cliques of ancient 
English poetry," published in July 1795, it is, for the first 
time, acknowledged that "Some liberties were, by the 
editor, taken with this ballad, which, in this edition, hath 
been brought nearer to the folio MS." Of the new read- 
ings, which are numerous, the most material are here 

V. 1. « 

'for sJiatvs, the MS. has 

shales." (p. cvii,) 

v. 17. 

sayd Lyttle John. 

Master quoth .John. 

v. 18. 

wind blows over the. 

wind that blowes ore a. 

v. 32. 

That leaned agaynst. 

His body leaned to a. 

v. 37. 

Stand still. 

Stand you still. 

V. 43. 



V. 63. 



v. 76. 



V. 124. 



V. 156. 

upon the. 

ore the left. 

v. 158. 



V. 166. 

stuck it. 

sticked itt. 

v. 171. 



V. 178. 

did throw. 

did it throv>% 

V. 181. 

Thy. thy. 

The. the. 

V. 204. 

None other rewarde I'll. Nor no other will I. 

v. 214. 



V. 216. 



How an editor, who is not ashamed to say that the inad- 
vertent transposition of two words ("Ye live upo'," for 
"Live ye upo'") in part of the line of a common Scottish 
song, which he himself had corrupted to "Come zefrae," 
has destroyed all confidence, can justify such wanton, 
arbitrary, and even injudicious alterations in the publica- 
tion of an ancient poem, is beyond the conception of a 
person not habituated to " liberties" of this nature, nor 
destitute of all manner of regard to truth or probity. 
[This tirade against Bishop Percy would have been sup- 
pressed, and the alterations made silently, had it not been 
so curious a specimen of Ritson's controversial spirit. It 
cannot at the present day detract from the merit of Dr. 
Percy, whose publication of the "Reliques" confessedly 
contributed much to the revival of a pure taste in poetry. 
In venturing on so bold an experiment, he very judiciously 
adapted his w^ork so as not too violently to shock popular 
prejudices ; without these precautions, which raised the 
ire of Ritson, a rigid antiquary, the Reliques would never 
have become popular, and the effect which they were 
calculated to produce upon literature would have been 
lost — Ed.] 



Whan shaws'' beenc shecnc, ' and shraddes^ full 
And leaves both large and longe, [fayre, 

Jtt's mcrrye walkyng in the fayi-e forrest 
To hcarc the small birdes songc. 

The woodweele '^ sang, and wold not cease, > 

Sitting upon the spraye, 
See lowdc, he wakened Robin Hood, 

In the gi'eenwood where he lay. 

Now, by my faye, sayd joUye Robin, 

A sweaven' I had this night ; 10 

I dreamt me of tow wighty '" yemen, 
That fast with me can fight. 

Methought they did me beate and binde, 

And tooke my bowe me froe ; 
Iff I be Robin alive in this lande, 1 .5 

He be wroken ° on them towe. 

Sweavens are swift, sayd Lyttle John, 
As the wind blowes over the hill ; 

For iff itt be never so loude this night, 

To-mori'ow it may be still. 20 

*' Buske yee, bowne yce,° my merry men all, 

And John shall goe with mee. 
For Ho goe secke yond wighty yeomen, 

In greenwood where they bee." 

Then they cast on tlieyr gownes of grene, 2'y 
And tooke theyr bowes each one ; 

And they away to the greene forrt?st 
A shooting foi"th are gone ; 

Until they came to the merry greenwood. 
Where they had gladdest to bee, oU 

Tliere they were ware of a wight yeoman, 
That leaned agaynst a tree. 

A sword and a dagger he wore by liis sid<\ 

Of manye a man the bane ; 
And he was clad in his capull hydei' 35 

Tdpp and tayll and mayne. 

Stand still, muster, quoth Little John, 

Under this tree so grene, 
And I will go to yond wight yeoman, 

To know what he doth meane. 40 

" Ah ! John, by me thou settcst noe store. 

And that I farley'« finde: 
How often send 1 my men before. 

And taxTy my selfo behiude \ 

'' Little woodH. 
' Hright, in full splendour. 
J *' It should perhnpK bo gwartls : i. e. the .snrfjicc of tho 
ground : viz. " when the fields nro in their beauty."— 
PKKrv. Uiither, shrtibhm (H\\T\ihv.). Tlio plural of iipnn/ 
was never uhcd by any writer whntovcr. 
k "The g(dden ouzle, a bird of the thruHh kind."— I'crcy. 
• Dream. "» StronK- 

" Wreaked, revenged. 
«> Prepare ye, get ready. P liurHu-bide 

4 Fairly, plainly. 

It is no cunning a knave to ken, 45 

And a man but heare him speakc ; 

And it were not for bursting of my bowe, 
John, I thy head wold breake." 

As often wordes they brcedon bale ■■, 

So they parted Robin and John : 50 

And John is gone to Barnesdalc ; 
The gates* he knoweth eche one. 

But when he came to Barnesdale, 

Great heavinesse there he hadd, 
P'or he found tow of his own fellowes, 55 

Were slain both in a slade '. 

And Scarlette he was flying a-foote 

Fast over stocke and stone. 
For the proud sheriffe with seven scoi'e men 

Fast after him is gone. GO 

One shoote now I will shoote, quoth John, 
With Christ his might and mayne ; 

1 le make yond shei-iffe that wends soe fast. 
To stopp he shall be fayue. 

Then John bent up liis long bende-bowe, r)5 

And fetteled " him to shoote : 
The bow was made of tender boughe. 

And fell downc at his foote. 

" Woe worth, woe worth thee, wicked wood, 
That ever thou grev/ on a tree ! 70 

For now this day thou art my bale ^, 
My boote ^^ when thou shold bee.'' 

His shoote it was but loosely shott. 
Yet flewe not the arrowe in vaine. 

For itt mett one of the sheriffes men, 75 

And William a Trent was slaine. 

It had bene better of William a Trent 

To have bene abed with sorrowe. 
Than to be that day in the greenwood slade "^ 

To meet with Little Johns arrowe. SO 

But as it is said, when men be mett 

Fyve can doe more than three, 
The sheriffe hath taken Little John, 

And bound him fast to a tree. 

"• Thou shalt be drawen by dale and downc, <!5 

And hanged hye on a hill." 
I Jut thou mayst fayle of thy purpose, quoth John, 

If it be Christ his will. 

Lett xiR leave talking of Little John, 
And thinke of Robin Hood, 

How he is gone to the wight yeoman, 
Whei'o under the leaves he stood. 


Good morrowe,good fellowe,sayd Robin sofayro. 
Good nu)rr{)we, good fellow, (pio' he>': 

Methinkes by this bowe thou bearos in thy J)5 
A good areherc thou sholdst bee. [handc, 

' Misebicf. 
' Ways, ptifisos, paths, ridings. Gate is a common word 
in the North for way. — P. ' Sco note ^. 

" JMadc him ready, prepared himself, set about. 
' Woe, sorrow, misery. ^^ Help. 

" " A slip of green swerdo between plow-lands or woods." 1*. 
y Dr. Percy, by the marks ho has bestowed on this lino, 




I am wilfulle ^ of my waye, quo' the yemun, 

And of my morning tyde. 
lie lead thee through the wood, sayd Robin ; 

Good fellow, He be thy guide. 100 

1 seeke an outlawe, the straunger sayd, 

Men call him Robin Hood ; 
Rather lid meet with that proud outlawe I 

Than foi'tye pound soe good. ! 

" Now come mth me, thou mighty yeman, 1 05 

And Robin thou soone shalt see : 
But first let us some pastime find 

Under the greenwood tree. 

First let us some masteiye ^ make 

Among the woods so even, 1 1 

We may chance to meet with Robin Hood 

Here at some unsett steveh^." 

They cutt them down two summer shroggs '^, 

That grew both under a breere. 
And sett them threescox'e rood in twaine, 115 

To shoote the prickes y-fere"^. 

Leade on, good fellowe, quoth Robin Hood, 

Leade on, I do bidd thee. 
Nay, by my faith, good fellowe, hee sayd. 

My leader thou shalt bee. 120 

The first time Robin shot at the pricke, 

Ho mist but an inch it fro : 
The yeoman he was an archer good. 

But he cold never do soe. 

The second shoote had the wightye yeman, 125 

He shot within the garland : 
But Robin he shott far better than hee. 

For he clave the good pricke-wande. 

A blessing upon thy heart, he sayd ; 

Good fellowe, thy shooting is goode ; 
For an thy hart be as good as thy hand, 

Thou wert better than Robin Hoode. 


Now tell me thy name, good fellowe, sayd he. 

Under the leaves of lyne^. 
Nay, by my faith, quoth bold Robin, 135 

Till thou have told me thine. 

I dwell by dale and downe, quoth hee, 

And Robin to take Ime sworne ; 
And when I am called by my right name 

I am Guy of good Gisborne. 140 

My dwelhng is in this wood, sayes Robm, 

By thee 1 set right nought : 
I am Robin Hood of Barnesdale, 

Whom thou so long hast sought. 

seems to consider it as the yeomans reply: but it seems 
rather a repetition of Robins complimentary address, 
z Doubtful. 
* " A trial of skill, high proof of skill."— P. 
^ At some unsett Steven, at some unlooked-for time, by 
some odd accident, by mere chance. 

c « Shrubs, thorns, briars.— G. Doug. Scroggis."— P. 

d Together. 

•^ The lyme or linden tree. 

He that had neyther beene kythe nor kin^, 145 

Might have seen a full fayre fight. 
To see how together these yeomen went 

With blades both browne and bright. 

To see how these yeomen together they fought 
Two howres of a summers day ; 1 50 

Yett neither Robin Hood nor sir Guy 
Them fettled s to flye away. 

Robin was reachles ^ on a roote, 

And stumbled at that tyde ; 
And Guy was quick and nimble withall, 155 

And hitt him upon the syde. 

Ah, deere ladye, sayd Robin Hood tho, 

That art but^ mother and mayi^', 
I think it was never mans destinye 

To dye before hLs day. 1 GO 

Robin thought on our ladye deere, 

And soone leapt up againe, 
And strait he came with a[n] awkwarde ' stroke 

And he sir Guy "* hath slayne. 

He took sir Guys head by the hayi-e. 1 65 

And stuck it upon his bowes end : 

" Thou hast beene a traytor all thy life, 
Which thing must have an end." 

Robin pulled forth an Irish knife. 

And nicked sir Guy in the face, 1/0 

That he was never on woman born 

Cold know whose head it was. 

Sayes, Lye there, lye there, nov/ sir Guyc, 

And with me be not wrothe ; 
Iff" thou have had the worst strokes at my hand. 

Thou shalt have the better clothe. 176 

Robin did off" his gown of greene. 

And on sir Guy did throwe, 
And he put on that capull hyde. 

That cladd him topp to toe. 180 

" Thy bowe, thy arrowes, and little home, 

Now with me I will beare ; 
For I will away to Barnesdale, 

To see how my men doe fare." 

Robin Hood sett Guyeshorneto his mouth, 185 

And a loude blast m it did blow : 
That beheard the sheriffe of Nottingham, 

As he leaned under a. lowe". 

f Acquaintance nor kindred. 
S Attempted, set about. 

•' Careless, regardless, imobservant. 5 Both. ^ Maid. 

^Awkwarde. So, according to Percy, reads his MS. He 
has altered it to " hackivard." An awkwarde stroke seems 
to mean an unusual or out-of-the-way stroke, one which 
the receiver could not foresee, be aware of, or guard 
against ; a sort of left or back-hand stroke. 

"^ The title of Sir, Dr. Percy says, was not formerly 
peculiar to knights ; it was given to priests, and sometimes 
to very inferior personages. If the text did not seem to 
be in favour of the latter part of this assertion, one might 
reasonably question its truth. Another instance, at least, 
it is believed, admitting this to be one, which is Ity no 
means certain, could not be produced, 
n "A little hm."-P. 




Hearken, hearken, sayd tlie sheriffe, 

I hearo nowe tydings <^ood, 1 00 

For yonder I hoare sir Guycs home blow, 
Aiid he hath slaine Robin Hoode. 

Yonder I heare sir Guycs liorne blowc, 

Itt blowcs soe Avell in tyde, 
And yonder comes that wightye yeomiui, 19.) 

Cludd in his capull hyde. 

Come h}-ther, come hythcr, thou good sir G uy, 

Askc what thou wilt of mee. 
O I wUl none of thy gold, savd Robin, 

Nor I will none of thy fee': 200 

But now 1 have slaine the master, he saycs, 

Let me goe strike the knave ; 
For this is all the meede " I aske ; 

None other rewarde I'le have. 

Thou art a madman, sayd the shei'iffe, 203 

Thou sholdst have had a knightes fee : 

But seeing thy asking hath beene soe bad. 
Well granted it shal bee. 

>Vhen Little John heard his master speake. 
Well knev.e he it was his stevenP : 210 

Now shall I be looset, quoth Little John, 
With Christ his might m heaven. 

Fast Robin hee hyed him to Little John, 

He thought to loose him blive i ; 
The sherifi'c and all his companye 215 

Fast after him can drive. 

Stand abacke, stand abacke, sayd Robin ; 

Why draw you mee so neere ? 
It wasnever the use in our country^, 

Ones shriff another shold heere. 220 

But Robin pulled forth an Irish knife. 

And losed John hand and foote. 
And gave him sir Guyes bow into his hand, 

And bade it be his boote. ^ 

Tlien John lie took Guyes bow in his hand, 225 
His boltes ' and arrowes eche one : 

When the sheriffe saw Little John bend his bow. 
He fettled " him to be gone. 

Towards his house in Nottingham townc, 

He fled full fast away ; 230 

And Hoe did all the com])anye: 
Not one behind wold stay. 

But he cold neither runne soe fast, 

Nor away ho(! fast cold ryde. 
But Little John witli an arrowe so broad, 235 

He shott him into the ' backc'-syde. 

Various Rkadino.— r. 23C. Sic. PC. quorc the MS. 

o Reward. P Voice. 

<i Tlclivc, imincfUately. «■ Confession. 

» That is to suy, Uado liiiii put it to use, profit by it — 

« A bolt was an arrow of a i>:irticular liiiid used for 
shooting ut a mark or at birds. 

JIade r'jady. 


A briefe touch cf the life and death of that renowned 
outlaw Robert Earl of Huntingdon, vulgarly called Robin 
Hood, who lived and dyed in A.D. 11^8,' being the 9th 
year of king Richard the first, commonly called Richard 
C'cEur de Lyon. 

Carefully collected out of the truest ^Titers of our 
English Chronicles : and published for the satisfaction of 
those who desire truth from falsehood. 


This poem, given from an edition in black letter, printed 
for I. Clarke, AV. Thackeray, and T. Passinger, lo'80', 
remaining in the curious library left by Anthony a Wood, 
appears to have been first entered on the hall-book of the 
stationers company, the21)th of February, 1631. 

Martin Parker was a great writer of ballads, several of 
which, with his initials subjoined, are still extant in tlie 
Pepysian and other collections. (See '-Ancient songs," 
1790, p. 239.) Dr. Percy mentions a little miscellany 
intitled, " The garland of withered roses, by Martin 
Parker, 1656." The editor has, likewise, seen " The 
nightingale warbling forth her own di:.astcr, or the rape 
of Philomela : newly written in English verse by Martin 
Parker, 1632 ;" and, on the 24th of November, 1640, Mr. 
Oulton enters, at Stationers hall, " a book called Tlie true 
story of Guy carle of Warwieke, in prose, by 3Iartya 

At the end of tliis poem the author adds " The epitaph 
which the prioress of the monastry of Kirkslay in York- 
shire set over Robin Hood, which," he says, " las is before 
mentioned) was to be read within these hundred years, 
though in old broken English, much to the same senceand 
meaning." lie gives it thus : 
" Decembr is quarto die,U98. anno regni Iti char diprimiH. 

" Robert earl of Huntington 

" Lies under this little stone, 

" No archer was like him so good ; 

" His wildness named him Robin Hood ; 

'• Full thirteen years, and something more, 

'• These northern parts he vexed sore ; 

'- Such outlaws as he and his men 

" May England never know again." 
"Some other superstitious words," he adds, "were in. 
wliieh I," says he, " thought fit to leave out." Now, under 
this precise gentlemans favour, one would be glad to know 
what these same " superstitious words" were ; there not 
being anything of the kind in Dr. Gales copy, which seems 
to be the original, and which is shorter by two lines than 
the above. 

Both gentlemen, and yeomen bold, 

Or whatsoever you are. 
To have a stately story told 

Attention now prepare : 

1 1 is a tale of Robin Hood, 5 

Which i to you will te?" 
Which being rightly understood, 

1 know will please you well. 

This Robin (so much talked on) 

Was once a man of fame, 10 

Instiled carl of Huntington, 

Lord Robin Hood by name. 

I An absurd mistake, scarcely worth notice in thi3F)aco,# 
and which the reader will have it in his own power to 





III courtship and magnificence 

His carriage won him praise, 
And greater favour with his prince 15 

Than any in our days. 

In bounteous Ubei'aHty 

He too much did excel!. 
And loved men of quality 

More than exceeding -well. 20 

His great revenues all he sold 

For wine and costly chear ; 
He kept three hundred bow-men bold, 

He shooting lov'd so dear. 

No archer living in his time 25 

With him might well compare ; 
He practis'd all his youthful prime 

That exercise most rare. 

A t last, by his profuse expence. 

He had consum'd his wealth ; 30 

And, being outlaw'd by his prince, 

In woods he liv'd by stealth. 

The abbot of Saint Maries rich, 

To whom he mony ought, 
His hatred to the earl was such 35 

That he his downfal wrought. 

So being outlaw'd (as 'tis told) 

He with a crew went forth 
Of lusty cutters'^ stout and bold, 

And robbed in the North. 40 

Among the rest one Little John, 

A yeoman bold and free. 
Who could (if it stood him upon) 

With ease encounter three. 

One hundred men in all he got, 45 

With whom (the story says) 
Three hundred common men durst not 

Hold combat any waies. 

They Yorkshire Avoods frequented much, 

And Lancashire also, 50 

Wherein then* practises were such 
That they wrought muckle^ woe. 

None rich durst travel to and fro, 

Thougli ne'r so strongly arm'd. 
But by these thieves (so strong in show) 55 

They still were rob'd and harm'd. 

His chiefest spight to th' clergy was, 

That liv'd in monstrous pride : 
. No one of them he would let pass 

Along the highway side, 60 i 

But first they must to dinner go. 

And afterwards to shrift : 
Full many a one he served so, 

Thus while he liv'd by theft. 

u Sharking fellows [called cutters or cut-purses, from, 
tlieir practice of stealing purses by cutting tliem away 
^rom the girdle, in which it was the custom to carry them. 

X. Much, great. 

No monks nor fryei's he would let go. 

Without paying their fees : 
If they thought much to be used so, 

Their stones he made them lese. 

For such as they the country fill'd 
With bastards in those days : 

Which to prevent, these sparks did geld 
All that came in their ways. 

But Robin Hood so gentle was, 

And bore so brave a mind, 
If any in distress did pass. 

To them he was so kind, 

That he would give and lend to them. 

To help them in their need ; 
This made all poor men pray for him, 

And wish he well might speecL SO 

The widow and the fatherless 

He would send means unto ; 
And those whom famine did oppress 

Found him a friendly foe. 

Nor would he do a woman wrong, S5 

But see her safe conveyed : 
He would protect with power sti'ong 

All those who crav'd his aid. 

The abbot of Saint Maries then, 

Who him undid before, SO 

Was riding with two hundred men, 

And gold and silver store : 

But Robin Hood upon him set, 

With his couragious sparks. 
And all the coyn perforce did get, 95 

Which was twelve thousand maikfi. 

He bound the abbot to a tree. 

And would not let him pass, 
Before that to his men and he 

His lordship had said mass : lOQ 

Which being done, upon his horse 

He set him fast astride, 
And with his face towards his arse 

He forced him to ride. 

His men were forced to be his guide, 105 

For he rode backward home : 
The abbot, being thus villify'd, 

Did sorely chafe and fume. 

Thus Robin Hood did vindicate 

His former wrongs i-eceiv'd : J 10 

For 'twas this covetous prelate 

That him of land bereav'd. 

The abbot he rode to the king. 

With all the haste he could ; 
And to his grace he every thing 1 15 

Exactly did unfold : 

And said that if no course were ta'n, 

By force or stratagem^ 
To take this rebel and his train. 

No man should pass for them. 120 

Vol.. IT. 




The kiuj; protested by and by 

L'lito the abbot then, 
That Kobin Hood with speed should dye. 

Willi all his merry men. 

Therefore he arm'd five hundred men, 

With furniture compleat ; 
But the outlaws slew lialf of tliom. 

And made the rest retreat. 


But c're the king did any send, 

He did :uiother feat, 
Which did his grace much more offend, 

The fact indeed was great : 


The long bow and the arrow keen 

They were so us'd unto 
That still he kept the forrest green 

In spight o' th' proudest foe. 

For in a short time after that 

The kings receivers went 
Towards London with the coyn they got, 

For's highness northern rent : 


Twelve of the abbots men he took, 
Who came to have him ta'n. 

When all the rest the field forsook, 
These he did entertain 


Bold Robin Hood and Little John, 
With the rest of their train. 

Not dreading law, set them upon, 
And did their gold obtain. 


With banqueting and merriment, 
And, having us'd them well, 

He to their lord them safely sent, 
And will'd them him to tell, 


The king much moved at the same, 
And the abbots talk also, 

In this his anger did proclaim. 
And sent word to and fro, 


That if he would be pleas'd at last 

To beg of our good king, 
That he might pardon what was past. 

And him to favour bring, 


That whosoever alive or dead 
Could bring bold Robin Hood, 

Should have one thousand marks well paid 
hi gold and silver good. 

He would suiTender back again 
The mony which before 

Was taken by him ' and his' men 
From him and many more. 


This promise of the king did make 
Full many yeomen bold 

Attempt stout Robin Hood to take 
With all the force they could. 


Poor men might safely pass by him. 
And some that way would chuse. 

For well they knew that to help them 
He evermore did use. 

But still when any came to him 
Within the gay green wood, 

He entertainment gave to them 
With venison fat and good ; 


But where he knew a miser rich 
That did the' poor oppress, 

To feel his coyn his hands did itch. 
He'd have it more or less : 


And shew'd to them such martial sport 
With his long bow and arrow. 

That they of him did give report. 
How that it was great sorow 


And sometimes, when the high-waV fall'd, 

Then he his courage rouzes. 
He and his men have oft assaild 

Such rich men in their houses : 


That such a worthy man as he 
Should thus be put to shift, 

Being a late lord of high degree, 
Of living quite bereft. 


So that, through dread of Robin then, 
And his adventurous crew, 

The misers kept great store of men, 
Which else maiutain'd but few. 


The king to take him more and more 
Sf^nt men of mickle>' might ; 

But he and his still beat them sore, 
And conquered them in fight : 

King Richard, of that name the first, 

Sirnamed Coeur de Lyon, 
Went to defeat the Pagans curst. 

Who kept the coasts of Sion. 


Or else with love and courtesio, 
To him he won their hearts. 

Thus still he liv'd by robbery 
Throughout the northern parts ; 

Hi 5 

The bishop of Ely chancellor. 
Was left a vice-roy here. 

Who, like a potent emperor. 
Did proud domineer. 

And all tlie cnu)itry stood in dread 
Of Robin liood and's men : 

For Ktouter lads ne'r liv'd by bread 
Jn those days, nor since then. 


Our chronicles of him report. 

That commonly he rode 
With a thousand horse from court to court 

Where he would make abode. 



The ab>)ot, which bc-foie i nam'd, 
Sought all th(! means he could 

To have by force this rebel ta'n. 
And his adherents bold. 


He, riding down towards the north, 
With his aforesaid train, 

Robin and his men did issue forth. 
Them all to entertain ; 


7 Jluch. 



And with the gallant gi-ay-goose wing 

They shew'd to them such play 
That made theii' horses kick and fling, 235 

And down theix* riders lay. 

Full glad and fain the bishop was, 

For all his thousand men. 
To seek what means he could to pass 

From out of Robins ken. 2J:0 

Two hundred of his men were kill'd, 

And fourscore horses good, 
Thirty, who did as captives yield, 

Were carried to the green wood ; 

Which afterwards were ransomed, 213 

For twenty marks a man : 
The rest set spurs, to horse and fled 

To th' town of Warrington. 

The bishop, sore inraged, then 

Did, in king Richards name, 200 

Muster up a power of northern men. 

These outlaws bold to tame. 

But Robin with his courtesie 

So won the meaner sort, 
That they were loath on him to try 2")o 

What rigour did import. 

So that bold Robin and liis train 

Did live unhurt of them. 
Until king Richard came again 

From fair Jerusalem : 260 

And then the talk of Robin Hood 

His royal ears did fill ; 
His grace admir'd that i' th' green wood 

He was continued still. 

So that the country far and near 265 

Did give him great applause ; 
For none of them need stand in fear, 

But such as broke the laws. 

He wished well unto the king, 

And prayed still for his health, 270 

And never practis'd any thing 

Against the common- vrealth. 

Only, because he v\fas undone 

By th' cruel clergy then. 
All means that he could think upon 275 

To vex such kind of men. 

He enterpriz'd with hateful spleen ; 

For which he was to blame, 
For fault of some to wreak his teen 

On all that by him came. 2S0 

With wealth that he by roguery gcS 

Eight alms-houses he built. 
Thinking thereby to purge the blot 

Of blood which he had spilt. 

Such was their blind devotion then, 285 

Depending on their works ; 
V»^hich if 'twere true, we Christian men 

Inferiouv were to Turks. 

But, to speak true of Robin Hood, 

And wrong him not a jot, 290 

He never would shed any mans blood 

That him invaded not. 

Nor would he injure husbandmen, 

That toil at cart and plough ; 
For well he loiew wer't not for them zi'5 

To hve no man knew how. 

The king in person, with some lords, 

To Nottingham did ride. 
To ti-y what strength and skill affords 

To crush this outlaws pride. 300 

And, as he once before had done. 

He did again proclaim, 
That whosoever v»ould take upon 

To bring to Nottingham, 

Or any place v/ithin the land, S05 

Rebellious Robin Hood, 
Should be preferr'd in place to stand 

With those of noble blood. 

When Robin Hood heard of the same. 

Within a little space, S 1 

Into the town of Nottingham 
A letter to his grace 

He shot upon an arrow head. 

One evening cunningly ; 
Which was brought to the king, and read h'lS 

Before his majesty. 

The tenour of this letter was 

That Robin would submit. 
And be true liegeman to his gi'ace 

In any thing that's fit, 320 

So that his highness would forgive 

Him and his men-y men all ; 
If not, he must i' th' green wood live, 

And take what chance did fall. 

The Idng would feign have pardoned him, 325 

But that some lords did say, 
This president will much condemn 

Your grace another day. 

While that the king and lords did stay 

Debating on this thing, 330 

Some of these outlaws fled a,way 
Unto the Scottish king. 

For they supposed, if he were ta'n 

Or to the king did yield. 
By th' commons all the rest of 's train n;35 

Full quickly would be quell'd. 

Of more than full an hundred men, 

But forty tarried still. 
Who were resolv'd to stick to him 

Let Fortune work her will. 3i0 

If none had fled, all for his sake 

Had got their pardon free ; 
The king to favour meant to take 

His merry men and he. 



But e're the pardon to him came 
This famous archer dy'd : 

His death and manner of the same 
rie pi-esently describe. 

For, being vcxt to think upon 

His followers revolt, 
In melancholy passion 

He did recount his fault. 

Perfidious travtoi-s ! said he then, 
In all your dangei-s past 

Have i you guarded as my men, 
To leave rac thus at last ! 

345 It seems that though the clergy he 

Had put to mickle woe, 
He should not quite foi'gotten be, 
Although he was their foe. 

This woman, though she did him liate, 
350 Yet loved his memory ; 

And thought it wondi'ous pitty thui 
His fame should with him dye. 

This epitaph, as records tell. 

Within this hundred years, 

2:io By many was discerned well, 

But time all thiiifrs out-wears. 



Tins sad perjUexity did cause 

A leaver, as some say, 
Which him unto confusion draws, 

Though by a stranger way. 360 

This deadly danger to prevent, 

He hie'fi him with ail speed 
U;ito a nunnery, with intent 

For his healths-sake to bleed. 

A faithless fryer did pretend 365 

In love to let him blood, 
But he by falshood wrought the end 

Of famous Robin Hood. 

His followers, when he was dead. 
Were some repriev'd to grace ; 

The rest to foreign countries fled. 
And left their native place. 

Although his funeral was but mean, 

This woman had in mind, 
Least his fame should be buried clean 

From those that came behind. 

For certainly, before nor since, 

No man e're understood. 
Under the reign of any prince. 

Of one like Robin Hood. 



The fryer, as some say, did this 

To vindicate the wrong 370 

Which to the clergy he and his 

Had done by power strong. 

Thus dyed he by treachery, 

That could not die by force : 
Had he liv'd longer, certainly 375 

King Richard, in remorse. 

Had unto favour him receiv'd, 

' His' brave men elevated : 
'Tis pitty he was of life bereav'd 

By one which he so hated. 3u0 

A treacherous leach this fryer was, 

To let him bleed to death ; 
And Robin was, methinks, an ass 

To trust him with his breath. 

His corps the prioress of the place, 305 

The next day that he dy'd. 
Caused to be buried, in mean case. 

Close by the high-way side. 

And over him she caused a stone 

To be fixt on the ground, 390 

An epitaph was set thereon, 

Wiicrein his name was found ; 

The date o' th* year and day also, 

.She made to be set there : 
That all, who by the way did go, o95 

Might see it plain appear. 

That huch a man as Robin Hood 

Was huried in that jilacc ; 
And how he lived in the grcon wood 

And robbed for a space, 400 

Full thirteen years, and something n.oro, 425 

These outlaws lived thus ; 
Feared of the rich, loved of the poor . 

A thing most marvellous. 

A thing impossible to us 

This story seems to be ; 430 

None dares be now so venturous, 

But tunes are chang'd we see. 

We that live in these later days 

Of civil government. 
If need be, have an hundred ways 435 

Such outlaws to prevent. 

In those days men nioi'e barbarous were, 

And lived less in a>ve ; 
Now (god be thanked) people fear 

More to offend the law. liO 

No waring guns were then in use, 

They dreamt of no such thing ; 
Our Englishmen in fight did use 

The gallant gx'ay -goose wing : 

In which activity these men, 445 

Through practise, were so good, in those days none cqual'd them, 

Especially Robin Hood. 

So that, it seems, keeping in caves. 

In woods and forests thick, 450 

They'd beat a multitude with staves. 

Their arrows did so prick : 

And none dui'st neer unto tJiera come. 

Unless in courtesie ; 
All such he ]>ravely would scud home 455 

With mirth and jollity ; 



Which courtesie won hun such love, 

As i before have told, 
'Twas the chief cause that he did prove 

More prosperous than he could. 

Let us he thankful for these times 
Of plenty, truth and peace ; 

And leave out great and horrid crimes, 
Least they cause this to cease. 

I know there's many feigned tales 
Of Robin Hood and 's crew ; 

But chronicles, which seldome fails. 
Reports this to be true. 



Let none then think this is a lye, 

For, if 'twere put to th' worst, 470 

They may the truth of all descry 

I' th' reign of Richard the first. 

If any reader please to try, 

As i direction show, 
The truth of this brave history, 475 

He'l find it true I know. 

And i shall think my labour well 

Bestow'd to purpose good, 
When't shall be said that i did tell 

True tales of Robin Hood. 4 SO 

Various Reading. — V. 460. i. e. than he could otherwise have been. 




From a hlack letter copy in the large and valuable col- 
lection of old ballads late belonging to Thomas Pearson, 
esq. and now in the possession of the duke of Roxburgh. 
This is the collection mentioned in the Harleian catalogue, 
and would seem to be the greater part of that originally 
made by old Bagford (see Hearnes appendix to Hcmingi 
Chartularium, p. 662), another volume or two having come 
with the rest of his typographical collections to the British 
Museum. The 3 vols, which went to Osborne were probably 
bought of him by mr. West, at whose sale they were pur- 

1 In reading this song, Ave are admonished by the editor 
of the collection of old ballads, printed in 1723, (who thinks 
it " the most beautiful, and one of the oldest extant, Avritten 
on that subject,") to observe one thing, and that Is, 
between some of the stanzas we must suppose aconsiderable 
time to pass. " Clorinda," he says, "might be [thoujjht] a 
very forward girl, if between Robin Hood's question and 
her answer we did not suppose two or three hours to have 
been spent in courtship : and between Robin Hood's being 
entertained at Gamwell Hall, and his having ninety-three 
bowmen in Sherwood, we must allow some years." 

With respect to its antiquity. Dr. Percy in the new edi- 
tion of his " Reliques of ancient English poetry," (vol. 1. 
p. xcvii) expresses a very different opinion ; since, accord- 
ing to him, it " seems of much later date than most of the 
others .... and can scarce be older than the reign of K. 
Charles I., for," says he, "K. James I. had 7to issue after his 
accession to the throne of England ;" an observation, 
which, if anything to the pui-pose, is certainly not true. 
" It may even," he continues, " have been Avritten since the 
restoration, and only express the wishes of the nation for 
issue on the marriage (sic) of their favourite K. Charles II. 
on his marriage (sic) with the infanta of Portugal." How- 
ever this may be, the writers having deviated from " all 
the old traditions concerning this celebrated outlaw," is no 
proof that he was " ignorant" of them ; and that Dr. Percy 
chooses to " think it is not found in the Pepys collection," 
only shews conjecture to be easyer than i^ivestigation. 
«& In the second edition of that collection, any person 
disposed to the search will find, at least, two copies of it, 
both in black letter. 

chased by major Pearson, by whom the collection was 
new-arranged, ornamented, and improved. 

The full title of the original is : "A now ballad of bold 
Robin Hood : shewing his birth, breeding, valour, and 
marriage at Titbury Bull-running. Calculated for the 
meridian of Staffordshire, but may serve for Derbyshire or 

Kind gentlemen, will you be patient awhile ? 

Ay, and then you shall hear anon 
A very good ballad of bold Robin Hood, 

And of his man brave Little John. 

lu Locksly town, in merry Nottinghamshire, J 

In merry sweet Locksly town. 
There bold Robin Hood he was born and was bred, 

Bold Robin of famous renown. 

The father of Rohm a forrester was. 

And he shot in a lusty strong bow 10 

Two north country miles and an inch at a shot, 

As the Finder of Wakefield does know. 

For he brought Adam Bell, and Clim of the Clugh,, 

And William of ' Clowdesle ^ ', 
To shoot with our forrester for forty mark, 15 

And the forrester beat them all three. 

His mother was neece to the Coventry knight. 
Which Warwickshire men call sir Guy ; 

For he slew the blue bore that hangs up at the gate. 
Or mine host of the Bull tells a lie. 20 

Her brother was Gamwel, of Great Gamwel-Hall, 

A noble house-keeper was he. 
Ay, as ever broke bread in sweet Nottinghamshire, 

And a 'squire of famous degree. 

Various Reading. — V. 14. Clowdel-le. 

'^ For an account of these worthies consult their old 
metrical legend in Percys Reliques, volume 1. or Ancient 
popular poetry, 17£ 1 . 


Tiu' mother of Ilobiu said to her husband, 25 

.My honey, my love, nnd my dour. 
Lit kubin and I ride this morning to Gamwel, 

To taste of my brother's good cheer. 

And lie said, I j^nmt thee thy boon, gentle Joan, 
Take one of my horses, I ])ray : oO 

The sun is arising, and thei'efore make haste, 
For to-morrow is Chi'istmas-day. 

Tlien Robin Hood's father's grey gelding was 
And sadled and bridled was he ; [brought, 

God-wot a blue bonnet, his new suit of cloaths, 33 
And a cloak that did reach to his knee. 

S!ip got on her holyduy kirtle " nnd gown, 
They were of a light Lincoln green ; 

'i'he cloath was homespun, but for colour and make 
it might 'have beseemed ' our queen. 40 

And then Robin got on his basket-hilt sword, 

And his dagger on his tother side ; 
And said. My dear mother, let's haste to be gone, 

We have forty long miles to ride. 

^'hen Robin had mounted his gelding so grey, 45 

Ilis father, without any trouble. 
Set her up behmd him, and bad her not fear, 

Tor his gelding ' had ' oft carried double. 

And when she was settled, they I'ode to their neigh- 

And drank and shook liands with them all ; 50 
And then Robin gallopt, and never gave o're, 

'Till they lighted at Gamwel-Hall. 

Aijd now you may think the right worshipful 'squire 

Was joyful his sister to see ; 
i'or he kist her, and kist her, and swore a great 

Thou art welcome, kind sister, to me. [oath, 55 

To-raon'ow,when mass had been said at thechappel, 
Six tables were covered in the hall, 

And in comes the 'squire,and makes a short speech, 
It was, Neighbours, you're welcome all. (JO 

But not a man hei'c shall taste my March beer, 
'Till a Christmas caiTol he does sing. 

Then all clapt tlieir hands, and they shouted and 
'Till the hall and the parlour did ring. [sung, 

Now mustard and brawn, loast beef and plumb 
Were set upon every table ; [pies, Go 

And nolde George Gamwel said, Eat and bo merry. 
And driuk too as long as you're able. 

U^hen dinner was ended, his chaplain said grace, 
And, Be merry, my friends, said the "squire ; 70 

it rains and it blows, but call for more ale. 
And lay some more wood on the lire. 

.'\nd now call ye Little John hither to Jiie, 

For little John is a fine lad, 
At gambols and juggling,and twenty such tricks, 7r> 

As shall make you both merry and glad. 

Vaiuous llRAVisas,— r. 40. abesocm'd. 
v. 4». ha8. 

« Ktrtle, upper prttlcout. [Tlic word is not confined to 
v.oraci/s iii)i)arol, uml is helicvcd to be properly iipplied 
(.:)|y to gumicnts faatciicd round the waist with a pirdi:.— 

When Little John came, to gambols they went, 
lioth gentlemen, yeomen, and clown ; 

And wnat do you think ? Why, as true as I live, 
Bold Robiu Hood put them all down. 80 

And now you may think the right woi'shipful 'squire 

Was joyful this sight for to sec ; 
For he said. Cousin Ilobiu, thou'st go no more hon«c. 

But tarx'y and dwell here with me : 

Thoushalthave my land when I die, and till then, 8j 

Thou shalt be the stafi" of my age. 
Then grant me my boon, dear uncle, said Robiu, 

That Little John may be my page. 

And he said. Kind cousin, I grant thee thy boon ; 

With all my heart, so let it be. 90 

Then come hither, Little John, said Robin Hood, 

Come hither my page unto me : 

Go fetch me my bow, my longest long bow. 
And broad arrows one, two, or three. 

For when 'tis fair weather we'll into Sherwood, [)j 
Some merry pastime to see. 

When Rabin Hood caiie into merry Sher\\ood, 

He winded his bugle so clear; 
And twice five and twenty good yeomen and bold, 

Before Robin Hood did appear. 100 

Where are your companions all? said Robia 

For still 1 want forty and three. 
Then said a bold yeoman, Lo, yonder they stand, 

All under the green wood tree. 

As that word was spoke, Clorinda came by, 105 
The queen of the shepherds was she ; 

And her gown was of velvet as green as the gras?. 
And her buskm did reach to her knee. 

Her gate it was graceful, her body was sti'aight. 
And her countenance free from pride ; 110 

A bow in her hand, and a quiver of ai'row.=> 
Hung dangling by her sweet side. 

Her eye-brows were black, ay, and so was her hair. 
Ami her skin was as smooth as glass ; 

Her visage spoke wisdom, and modesty too : 115 
Sets with Robin Hood such a lass ** ! 

Said Robin Hood, Lady fair, wnithcr away ? 

O whither, fair lady, away ? 
And she made him answer. To kill a fat buck ; 

For to-morrow is Titbury day, 1 29 

Said Robin Hood, Lady fair, wander with me 

A little to yonder green bower ; 
There set down to rest you, and you shall bo sui'e 

Of a brace or a * leash ' in an hour. 

And as we were going towards the gi'oen bower, 125 
Two hundred good bucks we espy'd ; 

She chose out the fattest that was in the herd. 
And she shot him through side and side. 

Various Ruaui.vos.— T. 104. a. V. 12-1. Icaso. 
V. 127. choose. 

'» Sets tntli Robin Itood such a lass ' Probably, such a 
biss would suit or becomo him well ; but the passage ia 
cither singular or corrupt. 


' y the fiiith of my body, said bold Robin Hood, 

"" nevei' saw woman like thee ; 130 

Aiid coni'st thou from east, or com'stthoLii'rom west, 
Thou needst not beg venison of me. 

However, along to my bower you shall go, 

And taste of a forrester's meat : 
And when we came thither we found as good cheer 

As any man needs for to eat. i 36 

For there was hot venison, and warden pies <= cold, 
Cream clouted, and honey-combs plenty ; 

And the servitors they were, besides Little John, 
Good yeomen at last four and twenty. 1 40 

Ciorinda said. Tell me your name, gentle sir : 
And he said, 'Tis bold Robin Hood : 

'Squire Gamwel's my uncle, but all my delight 
Is to dwell in the merry Sherw'ood ; 

For 'tis a fine life, and 'tis void of all strife. 145 

So 'tis, sir, Ciorinda reply'd. 
But oh ! said bold Robin, how sweet would it be. 

If Ciorinda would be my bride ! 

Slie blusht at the motion ; yet, after a pause 
Said, Yes, sir, and with all my heart. 150 

Then let us send for a priest, said Robin Hood, 
And be married befoi*e we do part. 

But she said. It may not be so, gentle sir. 

For I must be at Titbury feast ; 
Ar.d if Robin Hood wiU go thither with me, 155 

I'll make him the most welcome guest. 

Said Robin Hood, Reach me that buck, Little John, 

For I'll go along with my dear ; 
And bid my yeomen kill six brace of bucks, 

And meet me to-morrow just here. IGO 

Sefore he had ridden five Staffordshire miles, 

Eight yeomen, that were too bold, 
TAd Robin Hood stand, and deliver his buck : 

A truer tale never was told. 

.1 will not, faith, said bold Robin ; come, John, 165 
Stand by me, and we'll beat 'em all. 

Tiien both drew their swords, and so cut 'em, and 
That five out of them did fall. [slasht 'em. 

The three that remain'd call'd to Robin for quai'ter. 
And pitiful John begg'd their lives : 170 

Vv'hen John's boon wvas granted, he gave them good 
And sent them aU home to their wives, [counsel, 

This battle was fought near to Titbury town, 
When the bagpipes baited the bull ; 

I'm the king of the fidlers, and I sw^ear 'tis truth, 1 75 
And I call him that doubts it a gull (i : 

c Wardens are a species of large pears. In Shakspeare's 
" Winters Tale," the clo■^^^l, enumerating tlie articles he 
I'.ad to provide for the sheep-shearing feast, says he " must 
have saffron to colour the ivarden pies," 

•' For an account of Tuthury bull-running, and the cha- 
racter of king of the minstrels there, see Dr. Plotts 
" Natural History of Staffordshire," chap. x. § 6.9. sir J. 
Sliiwkinses "History of music," vol. ii. p. 64. and Blounts 
" Ancient tenures," by Beckwith, p. 303. 

For I saw them fighting, and fiddled the while ; 

And Ciorinda sung " Hey derry down ! 
" The bumkins are beaten, put up thy sword, Bob, 

" And now let's dance into the town." 180 

Before we came in we heard a great shouting. 
And all that were in it look'd madly ; 

For some Avereon bull-back, some dancing a morrlsf, 
And some singing Arthur-a-Bradley *". 

And there we see ^ Thomas, our justices clerk, 185 

And Mai'y, to Avhom he was kind ; 
For Tom rode before her, and call'd Mary madam,; 

And kiss'd her full sweetly behind : 

And so may your worships. But we went to dinner. 
With Thomas and Ma-ry, and Nan ; 190 

They all drank a health to Ciorinda, and told her. 
Bold Robin Hood was a fine man. 

When dinner was ended, sir Roger, the parson 
Of Dubbridge, was sent for in haste : 194 

He brought his mass-book, and he bad them take 
And joyn'd them in marriage full fast, [hands^ 

And then, as bold Robin Hood and his sweet brMe- 
Went hand in hand to the green bow^er; 

The birds sung with pleasure in merry Sherwood^ 
And 'twas a most joyful hour. 20(1 

And when Robin came in sight of the bower. 

Where are my yeomen ? said he : 
And Little John answer'd, Lo, yonder they stane^'. 

All under the green wood tree. 

Then a garland they brought her by two and bytwo. 
And plac'd them all on the bride's head : 20S 

The music struck up, and we all fell to dance, 
'Till the bride and bridegroom, wei'e a-bed.. 

And what they did there must be counsel ? to me. 
Because they lay long the next day ; 210" 

And I had haste home, but I got a good piece 
Of bride-cake, and so came away. 

Now out, alas ! I had forgotten to tell ye, 
That marry'd they Avere with a ring ; 

And so will Nan Knight, or be buried a. maiden, 215 
And now let us pray for the king ; 

That he may get children, and they may get more. 

To govern and do us some good : 
And then I'll make ballads in Robin Hood's bower. 

And sing 'em in merry Sherwood. 220 

e See this old and popular ballad in the Appendix. 
i Saw. 
s Counsel, secret. Mr. Ritson observes that the phrasa 
is uijed by Chaucer : 

" Shall it be conseil? sayde the first shrewe. 
And I shal tellen thee in wordes fewe 
■\Vhat we shul don, and bring it wel aboute." 

Pardonercs Tal^ 




I'roni an olJ black letter copy in the collection of 
Anthony ii ^Vood. It is there said to go " To the tunc of 
Hohl Uobin Hood ;" and the chorus is repeated in everj' 
btanza. To the above title are added the following doggerel 
lines : 

^\'liere hee met •with fifteen forresters all on a row, 
And hee desired of them some news for to kno^\-, 
Hut with crosse prain'd words they did him thwart. 
For which at last hee made them smart. 

RcDiN IIooD he was and a tall young man, 
Dernj derry dotcn. 
And fifteen winters old ; 
And Robin Hood he was a proi^cr young mpn, 
Of courage stout and bold. 5 

Jfey dotcn, derry derry down. 

Robin Hood hee would and to fair Nottingham, 

With the general for to dine ; 
'I'here was hee aware of fifteen forresters, 

And a drinking bear, ale, and wine. 10 

What news ? What news ? said bold Robin Hood, 
What news fam Avouldest thou know \ 

Oar king hath provided a shooting match. 
And I'm ready with my bow. 

We hold it in scorn, said the forresters, 15 

That ever a boy so young 
Sliould bear a bow before our king, 

Tiiat's not able to draw one string. 

I'le hold you twenty marks, said bold Robin Hood, 
By the leave of our lady, 20 

That I'le hit a mark a hundred rod i>. 
And I'le cause a hart to dye. 

We'lhold you twenty mark, then said the foiTcst^rs, 

By the leave of our lady, 
Thou liit'st not the marke a hundred rod, 25 

Nor causest a hart to dye. 

Robin Hood he bent up a noble bow. 

And a broad arrow he let five. 
He hit tlie mark a hundred rod. 

And he caused a hart to dye. oO 

Some say hee brake ribs one or two, 

And some say hee brake thi-ce ; 
The arrow within the hart would not altidc. 

But it glanced in two or three. 

The hart did skip, and tlie hart did leap, .'5;3 

And the hart lay on the ground ; 

The wager is mine, said bold Uobin Hood, 
I ft were for a thousand pound. 

TIjc \vaf,'cr's none of thine, then said the forrcKtCrs, 
Although thou beest in haste ; -lO 

Take up thy bow, and get thee hence, 
Lest wee thy sides do baste. 

^ I'olcH, perches. A rod, pole, or perch, is usiinUy bix- 
Iccn ftet anil a half, but in Slicrwood forest (according tu 
TJloiint) it is twenty-one feet, the foot there being eighteen 

Robin Hood hee took up his noble bow. 

And his broad arrows all amain ; 44 

And Robin Hood he laught, and begun [for] to 

As hee went over the plain. f smile, 

Then Robin hee bent his noble bow. 
And his broad ai'ro\v3 he let flye, 

Till fourteen of these fifteen fon'estei*s 

Upon the ground did lye. 50 

He that did this quaiT^el fiT-st begin 

Went tripping over the plain ; 
But Robin Hood he bent his noble bow, 

And hee fetcht him back again. 

You said I was no archer, said Robin Hood, 55 

But say so now again : 
With that he sent another arr^w, 

That split his head in twahi. 

You have found mee an archer, saith Robin Hood, 
Which will make your wives for to \\Ting, 60 

And wish that you had never spoke the word, 
That I could not draw one string. 

The people that lived in fair Nottingham 

Came running out amain, 
Supposing to have taken bold Robin Hood, 65 

With the forresters that were slain. 

Some lost legs, and some lost arms, 

And some did lose their blood ; 
But Robin hee took up his noble bow. 

And is gone to the merry green wood. 70 

They cai'ried these forresters into fair Nottingham^ 

As many there did know ; 
They dig'd them graves in their church-yard. 

And they buried them all a row. 




Tiom an old black letter copy, in A. a Woods collection, 
compared with two other copies in the IJritish Aluseimi, 
one in black letter. It should be sung " To an excellent 
tune," which has not been recovered. 

Several lines of this ballad are quoted in the two old 
plays of the" Downfall" and " Death of Robert caile of 
Huntington," Kidl, 4to. b. 1. but acted many years before. 
It is also alhnleil to in Sliakspeares Merry Wives of Wind- 
sor, act I. scene 1, and again, in his Second part of K» 
Hen. IV., act. V. scene 3. 

I.N Wakefield thci'e lives a jolly pind^r ', 

In Wakefield all on a green. 

In Wakefield all on a green : 
There is neither knight nor sfjuire, said the pinder, 

Nor liaron that is so bold, 5 

Nor baron that is so bohl, 
Dare mak«» a trespass to the town of Wakefield, 

But his pledge goes to the pinfold, i'v:c. 

' The ])'tndcr is the pounder or pound-kccpcr ,- the petty 
oflicer of a manor, whose duty it is to impound all strange 
tattle straying upon the common, &c. 



All this be heard three witty young men, 
'Twas Robin Hood, Scarlet, and John ; 

With that they espy'd the jolly pinder, 
As he sat under a thoi*n. 

Now turn again, turn again, said the pinder, 
For a wrong way you have gone ; 

For you have forsaken the kings highway, 
And made a path over the corn. 

O that were a shame, said jolly Robin, 
We bemg three, and thou but one, 

The pinder leapt back then thirty good foot, 
'Twas thirty good foot and one. 


He leaned his back fast unto a thorn, 

And his foot against a stone. 
And there he fought a long summers day, 

A summers day so long. 
Till that their swords on their broad bucklers, 25 

Wei*e broke fast into their hands. 

Hold thy hand, hold thy hand, said bold Robin 
And ray meri*y men every one ; [Hood, 

Tor this is one of the best pinders, 

That ever I tryed with sword, 30 

And wilt thou forsake thy pinders craft. 
And live in the green-wood with me 1 

*' At Michaelmas next my cov'nant comes out. 
When every man gathers his fee ; 

Then I'le take my blew blade all in my hand, 35 
And plod to the green-wood Avith thee." 

Hast thou either meat or drink, said Robin Hood, 
For my merry men and me ? 

I have both bread and beef, said the pinder. 
And good ale of the best. 40 

And that is meat good enough, said Robin Hood, 
For such unbidden ' guests.' 

" wilt thou forsake the pinder his craft, 
And go to the green-wood with me 1 

Thou shalt have a livery twice in the year, 
The one green, the other brown." 

" If Michaelmas day was come and gone, 
And my master had paid me my fee. 

Then would I set as little by him, 
As my master doth by me." 

As it fell out on a sun-shining day. 

10 ' When Phoebus was in ' his * prime, 
Then Robin Hood, that archer good. 
In mirth would spend some time. 

And as he walk'd the forrest along, 
I Some pastime for to spy, 
15 There was he aware of a proud bishop, 
And all his company. 

what shall I do, said Robin Hood then, 
If the bishop he doth take me ? 

No mercy he'l show unto me, I know. 
But hanged I shall be. 





" Showing how Robin Hood went to an old womans 
house and changed eloaths with her to scape from the 
bishop ; and how he robbed the bishop of all his gold, and 
made him sing a mass. To the tune of, Robin Hood and 
the Stranger." From an old black letter copy in the col- 
lection of Anthony a Wood. 

Go:>iE, gentlemen all, and listen awhile, 

Ilei/ do7V7i, down, an a doicn, 

And a story ile to you unfold ; 
lie tell you how Robin Hood sei'ved the bishop, 

When he robbed him of his go^l. 

Then Robin was stout, and turned him about, 
And a little house there he did spy ; 

And to an old wife, for to save his life, 20 

He loud began for to cry. 

Why, who art thou ? said the old woman, 

Come tell to me for good. 
" I am an out-law, as many do know, 

My name it is Robin Hood ; 25 

And yonder's the bishop and all his men. 

And if that I taken be, 
Then day and night he'l work my spight, 

And hanged I shall be." 

If thou be Robin Hood, said the old wife, 30 

As thou ' dost ' seem to be, 
I'le for thee provid-e, and thee I will hide. 

From the bishop and his company. 

For I remember, ' one ' Saturday night. 

Thou brought me both shoos and hose ; 35 

Therefore I'le provide thy person to hide. 
And keep thee from thy foes, 

" Then give me soon thy coat of gray, 
And take thou my mantle of green ; 

Thy spindle and twine unto me resign, 40 

And take thou my arrows so keen." 

And when Robin Hood was so araid. 

He went straight to his company, 
With his spindle and twine, he oft lookt behind 

For the bishop and his company. 45 

who is jonder, quoth little John, 

That now comes over the lee ^ ? 
An arrow I will at her let flie, 

So like an old witch looks she. 

hold thy hand, hold thy hand, said Robin Hood 
And shoot not thy arrows so keen ; [then, 50 

1 am Robin Hood, thy master good. 
And quickly it shall be seen. 

The bishop he came to the old womans house, 
And called, with furious mood, 55 

Come let me soon see, and bring unto me 
That traitor Robin Hood. 

The old woman he set on a milk-white steed, 
Himselfe on a dapple gray ; 
j And for joy he had got Robin Hood, 60 

He went laughing all the way. 


But as they were riding the fori-est along, 

The bisliop he * chuncM ' for to see 
A hunJi'ed bnive bowmen bold, 

Stand under the green-wood tree. 65 

O who is yonder, the bishop then said, 
That's ranging within yonder wood ? 

Marry, says the old woman, I think it to be 
A man call'd Robin Hood. 

Why, who art thou, the bishop he said, 70 

A\'liich I have here with me ? 
*« Why, I am an old woman, thou cuckoldly bishop. 

Lift up my" leg and see." 

Then woe is me, the bishop he said, 

Tiiat ever I saw this day ! 75 

He turn'd him about, but Robin stout 

Call'd him, and bid him stay. 

Then Robin took hold of the bishop's horse, 

And ty'd him fast to a tree ; 
Then Little John smil'd his master upon, 80 

For joy of that company. 

Robin Hood took his mantle from's back. 

And spread it upon the ground, 
And out of the bishops portmantle he 

Soon told five hundred pound. 85 

Now let him go, said Robin Hood, 

Said little John, That may not be ; 
For I vow and protest he shall sing us a mass, 

Before that he goe from mc. 

Then Robin Hood took the bisliop by the liaiul, 90 

And boujid him fast to a tree, 
And made him sing a mass, God wot, 

To him and his yeomandree'. 

And then they brought him through the wood. 
And set him on his dapple gray. Do 

And gave him the tail within his' hand. 
And bade him for Robin Hood pray. 


From an old black letter copy in the collection of 
Anthony a Wood. The tune is, " IJubiii Hood and the 

Come, all you brave gallants, listen awhile, 

JVifh hey clown, fhtm, an a (Iou'ii, 

That are 'this l)ower' within ; 
For of Robin Hood, that archer good, 

A song 1 intend for to sing. 

Cjion a time it chanced so, 

Bold Robin in [the] forrest did 's])y 
A jolly butclw'r, with a l)oniiy fine mare, 

With his flcsli to the market did hye. 

v.\uioi!8 IlKADiNO.— r. 3. In the bowers. 

Ytomnnry, followcra. 

Good morrow, good fellow, said jolly Robin, 1 j 
What food hast [thou], tell uuto me ? 

Thy trade to me tell, and where thou dost dwell, 
For I like well thy company. 

The butcher he answex''d jolly Rubin, 

No matt(?r where I dwell ; 15 

For a butcher. I am, and to Nottingham 

I am going, my flesh to sell. 

What is [the] price of thy flesh ? said jolly Robin, 

Come tell it soon unto mc ; 
And the price of thy marc, be she never so dear, 

For a butcher fain would I be. 21 

The price of my flesh, the butcher repli'd, 

I soon will tell unto thee ; 
With my boniiy mare, and they are not too dear, 

Four mark thou must give unto me. 25 

Four mark I will give thee, saith jolly Robin, 

Four mark it shall be thy foe ; 
The mony come count, and let me mount, 

For a l)utcher I foiu would be. 

Now Robin he is to Notingham gone, 30 

His batchers trade to begin ; 
With good intent to the sheriff' he went, 

And there he took up his inn. 

When other butchers they opened their meat. 
Bold Robin he then begun ; 'j5 

But how for to sell he knew not well. 
For a butcher he was but young. 

When other butchers no meat could sell 

Robin got both gold and fee ; 
For he sold moi'e meat for one peny "lO 

Then others could do for three. 

But when he sold his meat so fast. 

No butcher by him could thrive ; 
For he sold more meat for one peny 

Than others could do for five. -i.'* 

Which made the butchex's of Notingham 

To study as they did stand. 
Saying, Surely he * is' some prodigal. 

That hath sold his fathei'S land. 

The butchers stepped to jolly Robin, £0 

Acquainted with him for to be ; 
Come, brother, one said, we be all of one trade, 

Come, will you go dine with me ? 

Accurst of his lieart, said jolly Rob;n, 

That a butcher doth deny ; 55 

I will go with you, my brethren true. 
As fast as 1 can hie. 

But when to the sheriffs house they came, 

To dinner they hied apace. 
And Robin Hood he the man must bo 60 

Before them all to say grace. 

Pray God bless us all, said jolly Robin, 

And our meat within this place ; 
A cup of sack '" so good will nourish our blood : 

And so 1 do end my grace. Co 

•■-' A Kind of Sjianiwh wine, perhaps sherry, formerly 
much drunk in this country : very difiFcrent, at least, from 
the sweet or Canary wine now so called. 




Come fill us more wine, said jolly Robin, 

Let us be merry while we do stay ; 
For wine and good cheer, be it never so deai", 

I vow I the reckning will pay. 

Come, * brothers,' be merry, said jolly Robin, 70 

Let us drink, and never give oi*e ; 
For the shot I will pay, ere I go my Avay, 

If it cost me five pounds and more. 

This is a mad blade, the butchers then said. 

Sales the sheriff, He is some prodigal, 7.j 

That some land has sold for silver and gold, 

And now he doth mean to spend all. 

Hast thou any horn beasts, the sheriff repli'd 

Good fellow, to sell unto me 1 
" Yes, that I have, good master sheriff, 80 

1 have hundreds two or three, 

And a hundred aker of good free land. 

If you please it to see : 
And lie make you as good assurance of it. 

As ever my father made me." 85 

'I'he sheriff he saddled his good palfrey, 
And, with three hundred pound in gold, 

Away he went with bold Robin Hood, 
His horned beasts to behold. 

/.way tlien the sheriff and Robin cid ride, 90 

To the forrest of merry Sherwood, 
Then the sheriff did say, God bless us this day. 

From a man they call Robin Hood ! 

But when a little farther they came, 

Bold Robin he chanced to spy 95 

A hundred head of good red deer. 

Come ti'ipping the shei'iff full nigh. 

** How like you my horn'd beasts, good master sheriff ? 

They be fat and fair for to see." 
'■■ I tell thee, good fellow, I would I were gone, 100 

For I like not thy company." 

Then Robin set his hoi'n to his mouth, 

And blew but blasts three ; 
Then quickly anon tliere came Little John, 

And all his company. 105 

What is your wdll, master ? then said Little John, 

Good master come tell unto me. 
" I have brought hither the sheriff of Nottingham 

This day to dine with thee." 

He is welcome to me, then said Little John, 110 

I hope he will honestly pay ; 
I know he has gold, if it be but well told, 

Will serve us to drink a whole day. 

Then Robin took his mantle from his back, 

And laid it upon the ground ; 115 

And out of the sheriffs portmantle 
He told three hundred pound. 

Then Robin he brought him thorow the wood. 

And set him on his dapple gray ; 
*■' have me commended to your wife at home :" 

So Robin went laughmg away. 121 




"A merry and pleasant song i-elating cbe gallant and 

fierce combate fought between Artliur Bland, a tanner of 

Nottingham and Robin Kood. the greatest and most 

I noblest archer of England. Time is, Robin Hood and the 

I Stranger." From an old black letter copy in the collec- 

! tion of Anthony a Wood. 

; In Nottingham there lives a jolly tanner, 
I With a hey doivn, doivn, a down, dciun, 

\ His name is Arthur-a-Bland ; 
There is nere a squk-e in Nottinghamshire 

Dare bid bold Arthur stand. 5 

With a long pike-staff' upon his shoulder, 

So well he can clear his way ; 
By two and by three he makes them to flee, 

For he hath no list to stay. 

And as he went forth, in a summers morning, lO 
Into the ' forrest of merry ' Sherwood, 

To view the red deer, that range here and there, 
There met he with bold Robin Hood. 

As soon as bold Robin ' he did ' espy, 

He thought some sport he would make, ] 5 

Therefore out of hand he bid hiin to stand, 
And thus to him ' he ' spake : 

Why, what art thou, thou bold fellow. 

That ranges so boldly here l 
In sooth, to be brief, thou lookst like a thief, 

That comes to steal our kmgs deer. 


For I am a keeper in this forrest, 

The king puts me in trust 
To look to his deer, that range here and thetfe; 25 

Therefore stay thee I must. 

" If thou beest a keeper in this fox'rest. 

And hast such a great command, 
' Yet ' thou must have more partakers " in store, 

Before thou make me to stand." 30 

" Na}', I have no more partakers in store. 

Or any that I do not need ; 
But I have a staff of another oke gi-affo, 

I know it will do the deed. 

For thy sword and thy bow I care not 
Nor all thine arrows to boot ; 

If I get a knopP upon the bare scop% 
Thou canst as well shite as shoote.'' 

;raw, 35 

Speak cleanly, good fellow, said jolly Ro]>ln, 
And give better terms to me ; 40 

Else He thee correct for thy neglect. 
And make thee more mannerly. 

Vakious Reading. — F. 14. did him. 

n Assistants, persons to take thy part. 

o Oak-branch or sapling ? 

p The knob, the top or end of a stick ; thence applied 

a blow with a stick. 

1 Scalp, pate. 



Marry ficp with a wenion' ! quod Arthur-a-Bland, 

Art thou such a goodly man ? 
I care not a lig for thy looking so big, 45 

Mend thou thyself where thou can. 

Then Robin Hood he unbuckled his belt. 

And laid down his bow so long ; 
He took up a staff of another oke graff, 

That was both stiff and strong. 50 

He yield to thy weapon, said jolly Robin, 

Since thou wilt not yield to mine ; 
For I have a staff of another oke graff. 

Not lialf a foot longer then thine. 

But let me measure, said jolly Robin, 55 

Before we begin our fray ; 
For rie not have mine to be longer than thine, 

For that will be counted foul play. 

I pass not for length, bold Arthur i-eply'd. 

My staff is of oke so free ; GO 

Eight foot and a half, it will knock down a calf, 
And I hope it will knock down tliee. 

Then Robin could no longer foi'bear. 

He gave him such a knock. 
Quickly and soon the blood came down, 65 

Before it was ten a clock. 

Then Arthur he soon i-ecovered himself, 
And gave him such a knock on the crown, 

That from evciy side of bold Robin Hoods head, 
The blood came trickling down, 70 

Then Robin raged like a wild boar. 

As soon as he saw his own blood : 
Then Bland was in hast he laid on so fast, 

As though he had been cleaving of wood. 

And about, and about, and about they went, 75 

Like two wild bores in a chase ; 
Striving to aim each other to maim. 

Leg, arm, or any other place. 

And knock for knock they lustily dealt. 
Which held for two hours and more ; 

'J'liat all the wood rang at evei'y bang. 
They ply'd their work so sore. 


Hold thy hand, hold thy hand, said Robin Hood, 

And let thy quarrel fall ; 
For here wc may thrash our bones all to mesh % 85 

And get no coyn at all : 

' Marry f/cp ti'ith a u'cniou. [Mr. Ritsdn has left this 
cxclumation as a query, nor can we satisfactorily exphiiu 
it Marry, istlio corruption of the oatli " l{y St. iMary ;" 
of fic}!, we know not the meaning ; it may he a contrac- 
tion of yo up, or f/cl 11)1, which appears not unlikely, as 
Marry come vp has been a common exclamation, and may 
perhaps be yet in use ; and both phrases are equivalent 
to Away! Out with you ! still familiar terms: tvi-iuon, or 
iranion as it is more commonly written, is not to be found 
in any of the old <lictioiKirioH, and its exact moaning is 
uncertain : it seems to he derived either from the Anglo- 
Haxon f/v<»»?ir/, detriment, or vauiati, to deplore, to de- 
crease to fall away, and to be equivalent to harm, evil or 
Borrow ; and the whole phrase to resolve itself into a hearty 
curse.— liu,] 

Mash, or jelly. 

And in the forrest of merry Sherwood 

llearcal'ter thou shalt be free. 
"God a mercy for ' nought,' my freedom I lK>uglit, 

I may thank my staff, and not thee." 90 

What tradesman art thou ? said jolly Robin, 

Good fellow, I prethee me show : 
And also me tell, in what place thou dost dwel t 

For both of these fain would I know. 

I am a tanner, bold Arthur reply'd, 45 

In Nottingham long have I wrought ; 

And if thou'lt come there, I vow and swear, 
I will tan thy hide for ' nought.' 

God-a-mercy, good fellow, said jolly Robin, 

Since thou art so kind and free ; 100 

And if thou wilt tan my hide for ' nought,' 
I will do as much for thee. 

And if thou'lt forsake thy tanners trade, 
And live in the gi'een wood with me, 

My name's Robin Hood, I swear by the ' rood,' 105 
I will give thee both gold and fee. 

If thou be Robin Hood, bold Arthur reply'd. 

As I think well thou art. 
Then hei*e's my hand, my name's Arthur-a-Bland, 

We two will never depart '. 110 

But tell me, tell me, where is Little John I 

Of him fain would I hear ; 
For we are alide by the mothers side. 

And he is my kinsman dear. 

Then Robin Hood blew on the beaugle horn, 115 

He blew full lowd and slu'ill ; 
But quickly anon appear'd Little John, 

Come tripping down a green hill ; 

O what is the matter ? then said Little John, 
Mastei', I pray you tell : 1 20 

Why do you stand with your staff in your hand, 
I fear all is not w^ell. 

" man I do stand, and he makes me to stand. 
The tanner that stands thee beside ; 

He is a bonny blade, and master of his trade, 1*25 
For soundly he hath tan'd my hide." 

He is to be commended, then said Little John, 

If such a feat he can do ; 
If he be so stout, wc will have a bout, 

And he shall tan my liide too. 130 

Hold thy hand, hold thy hand, said Robin Hood, 

For ac 1 do understand, 
He's a yeoman good of thine own blood, 

For his name is Arthur-a-Bland. 

Then Little John threw his staff away, 135 

As far as he could it fling, 
And ran out of hand to Artluir-a-Bland, 

And about his neck did cling. 

With loving respect, there was no neglect. 

They were neither ' nice ' nor coy, 140 

Each other did face with a lovely grace, 
And both did wt^ej) for joy. 

t Tart from each other, separate, 



Then Robin Hood took ' them both ' by the hands, 
And danc'd round about the oke tree : 

« For three merry men, and three merry men, 145 
And three merry men we be : 

And ever hereafter as long as we live. 

We three will be ' as ' one ; 
The wood it shall ruig, and the old wife sing, 

Of Robin Hood, Arthur, and John." 150 



From an old black letter copy in the library of Anthony 
Wood. The full title is, 

♦« A new song to drive away cold winter, 
Between Robin Hood and the jovial tinker : 
How Robin by a wile 
The Tinker he did cheat ; 
But at the length as you shall hear 
The Tinker did him beat, 
"Wliereby the same they did then so agree 
They after liv'd in love and unity. 

To the time of, In Summer time. 

In summer time, when leaves grow green, 

Down, a down, a down. 
And birds sing on every tree, 

Hey doivn, a down, a dotvn. 
Robin Hood went to Nottingham, 5 

Down, a down, a down. 
As fast as hee could di-ee". 

Hei/ down, a doivn, a down. 

And as hee came to Nottingham, 

A tinker he did meet, 10 

And seeing him a lusty blade. 

He did him kindly gi-eet-. 

" Bree properly signifies to endure or suffer, and 
Jamieson in his dictionary explains the Anglo-Saxon 
dreog-an, from which dree is derived, as radically the 
same with drag-art, to draw, to drag along. Here it is 
metaphorically used, in reference to the labour of travel- 
ling, and is explained by Mr. Ritson as hye, which means 
to hasten or move quickly.— £<?. 

Where dost thou live 1 quoth Robin Hood, 

I pray thee now mee tell : 
Sad news I hear there is abi'oad, 15 

I fear all is not well. 

What is that news 1 the tinker said, 

Tell mee without delay : 
I am a tinker by my trade. 

And do live at Banbura. 20 

As for the news, quoth Robin Hood, 

It is but as I hear, 
Two tinkers were set ith' stocks, 

For drinking ale and ' beer.' 

If that be all, the tinker he said, 25 

As I may say to you, 
Your news is not worth a fart. 

Since that they all bee ti'ue. 

For drinking good ale and ' beer,' 

You will not lose your part. 30 

No, by my faith, quoth Robin Hood, 

I love it with all my heart. 

What news abroad ? quoth Robin Hood. 

Tell me what thou dost hear : 
Seeing thou goest from town to town, 35 

Some news thou need not fear. 

All the news I have, the tinker said, 

I hear it is for good. 
It is to seek a bold outltlw. 

Which they call Robin Hood. 40 

I have a warrand from the king, 

To take him where I can ; 
If you can tell me where hee is, 

I will make you a man. 

The king would give a hundred pound, 45 

That he could but him see ; 
And if wee can but now him get. 

It will serve thee and mee. 

Let me see that warrant, said Robin HooJ, 
He see if it bee right ; 50 

And I will do the best I can 
For to take him this night. 

That will I not, the tinker said, 

None Avith it I will trust ; 
And where hee is if you'll not tell, 55 

Take hun by force I must. 

But Robin Hood perceiving well 

How then the game would go, 
" If you would go to Nottingham, 

We shall find him I know." 60 

The tinker had a crab-tree staff. 
Which was both good and strong, 

Robin hee had a good strong blade ; 
So they went both along. 

And when they came to Nottingham, 65 

There they both tooke their inn ; 
And they called for ale and wine, 

To drink it was no sin. 



But ale and wine they drank so fast, 

That the tinker hee forgot 70 

What thing lie was aliout to do ; 
It fell so" to his lot, 

That, while the tinker fell asleeji, 

* Rol)in ' made then haste away, 
And left the tinker in the lurch, 75 

For the gi*eat shot to pay. 

But when the tinker wakened, 

And saw that he was gone, 
He call'd then even for his host, 

And thus hee made his moan : 80 

I had a warrant from the king, 
Which might have done me good, 

That is to take a ])old outlaw, 
Some call him Robin Hood : 

But now my waiTant and mony's gone, 85 

Nothing I have to pay ; 
And he that promis'd to be my friend. 

He is gone and fled away. 

That friend you tell on, said the host, 

They call him Robin Hood ; ,00 

And when that first hee met with you, 
He ment you little good. 

'•' Had I but known it had been hee, 

When that I had him here, 
Til' one of ns should have tri'd our might 95 

Which should have paid full dear. 

In the mean time I will away. 

No longer here He bide. 
But I will go and seek him out, 

Whatever do me betide. 100 

But one thing I would gladly know. 

What here I have to pay." 
Ten shillings just, then said the host. 

" He pay without delay ; 

Or elce take here my working-bag, 105 

And my good hammer too ; 
And if that I light but on the knave, 

1 will then soon pay you." 

The onely way, then said the host. 

And not to stand in fear, 1 1 

Is to seek him among the parks, 

Killing of the kings deer. 

The tinker hee then went with speed, 

And made then no delay,- 
Till he had found ' bold' Robin Hood, Hf) 

That they might have a fray. 

At last hee spy'd him in a park, 

Hunting then of the deer. 
What knave is that, f|uoth Robin Hood, 

That doth come nu>e so near? J20 

No knave, no knave, the tinker said. 

And that you soon shall know ; 
Whether of us hath done any wrong, 

My crab-tree staff shall show. 

Then Robin drew his gallant blade, IH". 

Made then of trusty steel : 
But the tinker he laid on so fast. 

That he made Robin reel. 

Then Robins anger did arise. 

He fought right manfully, 1.30 

Until he had made the tinker 

Almost then fit to fly. 

With that they had about again. 

They ply'd theii' weapons fast ; 
The tinker threshed his bones so sore, l?.:'- 

He made him yeeld at List. 

A boou, a boon, Robin hee cryes, 

If thou will grant it mee. 
Before I do it, the tinker said. 

He hang thee on this tree. J^n 

But the tinker looking him about, 

Robin his horn did blow ; 
Then came unto him Little John, 

And Willuira Scadlock too. 

What is the matter, quoth Little John, 145 

You sit on th' highway side ? 
" Here is a tinker that stands by, 

That hath paid well my hide." 

That tinker then, said Little John, 

Fain that blade I would see, I 'iQ 

And I would try what I could do. 

If liee'l do as much for me. 

But Robin hee then wisli'd them both 

They should the quarrel cease, 
" That henceforth wee may bee as one, 1 55 

And ever live in peace. 

And for the jovial tinkers part, 

A hundred pounds He give 
In th' year to maintain him on. 

As long as he doth live. ?S0 

In manhood he is a mettled man. 

And a mettle man by trade ; 
Never thought I that any man 

Should have made mee so afraid. 

And if hee will bee one of us, 2 S5 

Wee will take all one fare ; 
And whatsoever wee do get, 

He shall have his full share." 

So the tinker was cojitent 7-70 

With th(>m to go along, 
And with them a part to take: 

And so I end my song. 



" Or a pleasant relation how a young gentleman, being 
in love with a young damsel, ' she ' was taken from him to 
be an old knights bride : and how Robin Hood, pittying 
the young mans ease, took her from the old knight, when 
they were going to be marryed, and restored her to her 
own lovo again. To a pleasent northern tune, Robin Hood 
I in the green-wood stood. 

j Bold Robin Hood he did the young man right, 

I And took tlie damsel from the doting knight." 

! From an old black letter copy in major Pearsons col- 


I Come listen to me, you gallants so free, 
I All you that love mirth for to hear, 

And I will tell you of a bold outlaw, 
I That lived in Nottinghamshire . 

I As Robin Hood in the forest stood, 5 

! All under the green wood tree, 

j There he was aware of a brave young man, 

I As fine as fine might be. 

i The youngster was cloathed in scarlet red, 
! In scarlet fine and gay ; 1 

And he did frisk it over the plain. 
And chanted a round-de-lay. 

As Robin Hood next morning stood 

Amongst the leaves so gay, 
There did [he] espy the same young man 15 

Come drooping along the way. 

The scarlet he wore the day before 

It was clean cast away ; 
And at every step he fetcht a sigh, 

« Alack and a well a day !" 20 

Then stepped forth brave Little John, 

And ' Midge ' the millers son. 
Which made the young man bend his bow. 

When as he see them come. 

Stand ofi", stand off, the young man said, 25 

What is your will with me ? 
" You must come before our master straight, 

Under yon green wood tree." 

And when he came bold Robin before, 

Robin askt him courteous!}', 30 

0, hast thou any money to spare 
For my merry men and me ? 

I have no money, the yoimg man said. 

But five shillmgs and a ring ; 
And that I have kept this seven long years^ 35 

To have it at my wedding. 

Yesterday I should have married a maid. 

But she from me was tane^. 
And chosen to be an old knights delight. 

Whereby my poor heart is slain. 

Various Readings.— r. 22. Nicke. 

V. 38. soon from. 

X Taken, 

What is thy name ? then said Robm Hood, 

Come tell me, without any fail. 
By the faith of my body, then said the young mr,7u 

My name it is Allin a Dale. 

What will thou give me, said Robin Hood, 45 

In ready gold or fee. 
To help thee to thy true love again. 

And deliver her unto thee 1 

I have no money, then quoth the young man, 
No ready gold nor fee, 50 

But I M'ill swear upon a book 
Thy true servant for to be. 

" How many miles is it to thy true love ? 

Come tell me without guile." 
By the faith of my body, then said the young man. 

It is but five little mile. 5t> 

Then Robin he hasted over the plain. 
He did neither stint nor lin ^, 

Until he came unto the church. 

Where Allin should keep his wedding. 


What hast thou here ? the bishop then said, 

I prithee now tell unto me. 
I am a bold harper, quoth Robin Hood, 

And the best in the north country. 

welcome, welcome, the bishop he said, 65 

That musick best pleaseth me. 
You shall have no musick, quoth Robin Hood, 

Till the bride and the bridegroom I see. 

With that came in a wealthy knight, 

Which was both grave and old, 70 

And after him a finikin ^ lass. 

Did shine hke the glistering gold. 

This is not a fit match, quod bold Robin Hood, 

That you do seem to make here, 
For since we are come into the church, 75 

The bride shall chuse her own dear. 

Then Robin Hood put his horn to his mouth, 

xind blew blasts two or three ; 
When four and twenty bowmen bold 

Came leaping over the lee^. SO 

And when they came into the church-yard, 

Marchuig all on a row. 
The first man was Allin a Dale, 

To give bold Robin his bow. 

This is thy true love, Robin he said, 85 

Young Alhu, as I hear say. 
And you shall be maiTied at ' this ' same time. 

Before we depart away. 

That shall not be, the bishop he said. 

For thy word shall not stand ; 90 

They shall be tln-ee times askt in the church. 
As the law is of our land. 

Robin Hood pull'd off the bishops coat. 

And put it upon Little John ; 
By the faith of my body, then Robin said, 95 

This ' cloth ' doth make thee a man. 

7 Stop, stay. 

2 Finical, fine, spruce 



When Little John went into the quire, 

The people beijan to laugh ; 
He askt them seven times in the chureh, 

Lest tlu*ee times should not be enough. 

Who gives mo this maid 1 said Little John. 

Quoth llobin Hood, that do I ; 
And he that takes her from Allin a Dale, 

Full deai'ly he shall her buy. 

And tlms liaving ended this merry wedding. 

The bride lookt like a queen ; 
And so they return'd to the merry green-wood, 

Amongst the leaves so green. 




'• Shewing how Robin Hood, Little John, and the Shep- 
herd fought a sore combate. 

The shepherd fought for twentj' pound, and Robin for 

bottle and bag, 
But the sliepherd stout, gave them the rout, so sore they 

could not wag. 

Tune is, Robin Ilood and queen Katherinc." 

From two old black letter copies, one of them in the 
collection of Anthony a. Wood, the other in that of Thomas 
Pearson, esq. At the head of the former is a fine cut of 
liobin Hood. 

All gentlemen, and yeomen good, 
Down, a down, a down, a doivn, 
I wish you to draw near ; 
For a story of gallant bold Robin Hood 

Unto you I will declare, 5 

Down a, ^c. 

As Robin Hood walkt the forrest along, 

Some pastime for to spie, 
There he was aware of a jolly shepherd, 

Tliat on the ground did lie. 

Arise, arise, cried jolly Robin, 
And now come let me see 

What's in thy bag and bottle^; 
Come tell it unto me. 



« WMiat's that to thee ? thou proud fell6\v, 
Tell me as I do stand ; 1.') 

What hast thou to do with my bag and bottle '. 
Let me sec thy command*^." 

" My sword, wliich liangoth by my side, 

Is my conunand I know ; 
Come, and let me tiuste of thy bottle, 20 

Or it may bx'eed thy wou." 

" The devil a drop, thou proud fellAw, 

Of my bottle thou shalt see, 
Until thy valour here be tried, 

Whether thou wilt fight or flee." 25 

" A Hmull vessel of wood or leather in the shupc of a 
CAsk, In which hhi'iihcrds and otheiH, employed abroad in 
the fiolds, carry or kc<p their drink. 

c Warrant, authority. 

What shall we tight for ? cries Robm Hood, 

Come tell it soon to me ; 
Here is twenty j)uund in good red gold, 

Win it and take it thee. 

The shepherd stood all in a maze, 30 

And knew not what to say : 
" I have no money, thou proud fellow. 

But bag and bottle lie lay." 

" I am content, thou shepherd swain. 

Fling them down on the ground ; 35 

But it will breed thee miekle'i pain, 
To win my twenty pound." 

'• Come draw thy sword, thou proud fellow, 

Thou standst too long to prate ; 
This hook of mine shall let thee know, 49 

A coward I do hate." 

So they fell to it, full hardy and sore. 

It was on a summers day. 
From ten till four in the afternoon 

The shephei'd held him play. 4b 

Robins buckler proved his ' chief defence, 

And saved him many a bang. 
For every' blow the shepherd gave 

Made Robin's sword cry twang. 

Many a sturdie blow the sheplierd gave, 50 

And that bold Robin found. 
Till the blood ran trickling from his head, 

Then he fell to the ground. 

" Arise, arise, thou proud felluw, 

And thou shalt have fixir play, 55 

If thou wilt yield before thou go, 

That I have won the day." 

A boon, a boon, cry'd bold Robin, 

If that a man thou be. 
Then let me have my beugle horn, 60 

And blow but blasts three. 

Then said the shepherd to bold Robin, 

To that I will agree ; 
' For' if thou shouldst blow till to-moiTOW morn, 

I scorn one foot to flee. 65 

Then Robin he set his horn to his mouth, 

And he blew with miclde main'^, 
Until he espied Little John 

Come tripping over the plain. 

" who is yondei;, thou pi'oud felluw, 70 

That comes down yonder hill?" 
" Yonder is John, bold Robin Hoods man, 

Shall fight with thee thy fill." 

What is the matter ? saies Little John, 

IMaster, come tell to me. 75 

My case is })ad, cries Robin Hood, 
For the shepherd hath conquered me. 

I am glad of that, cries Little John : 

Shej)herd, turn thou to me ; 
For a bout with thee i mean to have, £0 

Either come fight or flee. 

Various Reading.— r. 46. chiefest. 

d Much. 

c Force. 




" With all my heart, thou proud fellow, 

For it never shall be said 
That a shepherds hook of thy sturdy look 

Will one jot be dismaied." 85 

So they fell to it, full hardy and sore, 

Striving for victorie. 
lie know, says John, ere we give o'er, 

Whether thou wilt fight or flee. 

The shepherd gave John a sturdie blow, 
With his hook under the chin. 

Beshrew thy heart, said Little John, 
Thou basely dost begin. 

Nay, that is nothing, said the shepherd, 

Either yield to me the dale. 
Or I will bang thy back and sides, 

Before thou goest thy way. 

What, dost thou think, thou proud fellow, 
That thou canst conquer me? 

Nay, thou shalt know, before thou go, 
lie fight before ile flee. 

Again the shepherd laid on him, 

* Just as he first begun.' 
Hold thy hand, cry'd bold Robin, 

I will yield the wager won. 

With all my heart, said Little John, 

To that I will agree ; 
For he is the flower of shepherd swains, 

The like I did never see. 

Thus have you heard of Robin Hood, 

Also of Little John'; 
How a shepherd swain did conquer them, 

The Jike was never known. 









From an old black letter copy in the collection of 
Anthony iWood ; corrected by a much early er one in the 
Pepysian library, printed by H, Gosson, about the year 
16 e ; compared with a later one in the same collection. 
The full title is : « The famous battell betweene Robin 
Hood and the curtail fryer. To a New Northerne tune." 

" The curtail fryer," dr. Stukely says, " is cordelier from 
the cord or rope which they wore round their waist, to 
whip themselves with. They were," adds he, " of the 
Franciscan order." Oiu: fryer, however, is xmdoubtedly so 
called from his "curtail dogs," or Gin's, as we now say. 
Courtault, F.) In fact, he is no fryer at aU, but a monk 
of Fountains abbey, which was of the Cistercian order. 

In summer time, when leaves grow green. 

And flowers are fresh and gay, 
Robin Hood and his merry men 

Were disposed to play. 

Then some would leape, and some would runne, 5 

And some would use artillery ; 
•'< Which of you can a good bow draw, 

A good archer for to be ? 

e Sic orig. 

Which of you can kill a bucke. 

Or who can kill a doe ; 
Or who can kill a hart of Greece^ 10 

Five hundreth foot him fro ? " 

WUl Scadlocke he kild a bucke. 

And Midge he kild a doe ; 
And Little lohn kild a hart of Greece, 1 5 

Five himdreth foot him fro. 

Gods blessing on thy heart, said Robin Hood, 

That hath such a shot for me ; 
I would ride my horse a hundred miles, 

To find one could match thee. 20 

That caused Will Scadlocke to laugh, 

He laught full heartily : 
" There lives a curtail fryer in Fountaines Abby 

Will beate both him and thee. 

The curtail fryer in Fountaines Abbey 25 

Well can a strong bow draw. 
He will beat you and your yeoman. 

Set them all on a row." 

Robin Hood he tooke a solemne oath, 

It was by Mary free, 30 

That he would neither eate nor drinke. 
Till the fryer he did see. 

Robin Hood put on his harnesse good, 

On his head a cap of steel. 
Broad sword and buckler by his side, 35 

And they became him weele s. 

He tooke his bow into his hand, 

It was made of a trusty tree, 
With a sheafe of arrowes at his belt, 

And to Fountaine Dale went he. 40 

And comming unto Fountaine Dale, 

No farther he would ride ; 
There he was aware of the curtail fryer, 

Walking by the water side. 

The fryer had on a harnesse good, 45 

On his head a cap of steel, 
Bi'oad sword and buckler by his side, 

And they became him weele. 

Robin Hood lighted off his horse. 

And tyed him to a thorne : 50 

" Carry me over the water, thou curtail fryer, 

Or else thy life's forlorne." 

The fryer tooke Robin Hood on his backe, 

Deepe water he did bestride. 
And spake neither good word nor bad, 55 

Till he came at the other side. 

Lightly leapt Robin ofic the fryers backe ; 

The fryer said to him againe. 
Carry me over this water, [thou] fine fell6w, 

Or it shall breed thy paine. 60 

Robin Hood took the fryer on his backe, 

Deepe water he did bestride. 
And spake neither good word nor bad. 

Till he came at the other side. 

f This means, perhaps, no more than a fat hart, for the 
sake of a quibble between Greece and grease. 
g WelL 

Vol; II 




Lightly leapt the fryer off Robin Hoods backc, 65 

Robin Hood said to him againe, 
Carry nie over this water, thou curtail fryer, 

Or it shall broede thy puiu. 

The fryer tooke Robin on's backe againc, 

And stept in to the knee. 70 

'Till he came at the middle strearae, 
Neither good nor bad spake he, 

And comming to the middle streame, 

There he threw Robin in : 
" And chuse thee, chuse thee, fine fell6w, 75 

Whetlier thou wilt sink or swim." 

Robin Hood swam to a bush of broome. 

The fryer to a wiggerh wand ; 
Bold Robin Hood is gone to shore. 

And took his bow in his hand. . 80 

One of his best arrowes under his belt 

To the fryer he let fly ; 
The curtail fryer with his steel buclder 

Did put that arrow by. 

" Shoot on, shoot on, thou fine fellow, 85 

Shoot as thou hast begun, 
If thou shoot here a summers day, 

Thy marke I will not shun." 

Robin Hood shot passing well, 

^Till his arrows all were gane ; 90 

They tooke their swords and Steele bucklers. 

They fought with might and maine, 

From ten o'th' clock that [very] day. 

Till four i' th' afternoon ; 
Then Robin Hood came to his knees, 95 

Of the fryer to beg a boone. 

** A boone, a boone, thou curtail frj'er, 

I beg it on my knee ; 
Give me leave to set my home to my mouth, 

And to blow blasts three." 100 

That I will do, said the curtail fryer. 

Of thy blasts I have no doubt ; 
I hope thoult blow so passing well, 

'Till both thy eyes fall out. 

Robin Hood set his home to liis mouth. 105 

He blew out l)last.s three ; 
Halfe a hundreth yeomen, with bowes bent, 

Came raking over the lee. 

Whose men are these, said the fi'yer. 

That come so hastily ? 110 

Those are mine, said Robin Hood ; 

Fryer, what is that to thee i 

A boone, a boone, said the curtail frycv. 

The like I gave to thee ; 
Give me leave to set my fist to my mouth, 115 

And to whute' whues three. 

k Wksker. 

i 'Whistln. 

That will I doe, said Robin Hood, 

Or else I were to blame ; 
Three whues in a fi'ycrs fist 

Would make me glad and faine. 120 j 

The fryer set his fist to his mouth. 

And whuted whues three : 
Half a hundred good band-dogs i^ 

Came running over the lee. 

" Here's for every man a dog, 125 

And I myselfe for thee." 
Nay, by my laith, said Robin Hood, 

Fryer, that may not be. 

Two dogs at once to Robin Hood did goe. 

The one behind, the other before, 130 

Robin Hoods mantle of Lincolne greene 
Off from his backe they tore. 

And whether his men shot east or west. 

Or they shot noii;!! our south. 
The curtail dogs, so taught they were, 1 35 

They kept ' the' ari*ows in their mouth. 

Take up thy dogs, said Little John, 

Fryer, at my bidding be. 
Whose man art thou, said the curtail fryer. 

Comes here to prate with me ? 1 40 

" I am Little John, Robin Hoods mau. 

Fryer, I will not lie ; 
If thou take not up thy dogs soone, 

I'le take up them and thee." 

Little John had a bow in his hand, 14o 

He shot with might and main ; 
Soon halfe a score of the fryers dogs 

Lay dead upon the plain. 

Hold thy hand, good fellow, said the curtal fryer, 
Thy master and I will agree ; 150 

And we will have new orders taken. 
With all the hast may be. 

" If thou wilt forsake fair Fountaines dale. 

And Fountaines Abbey free, 
Every Sunday throwout tho yeere, .1 56 

A noble shall be thy fee : 

And every hoUday through the yeere. 

Changed shall tiiy garment be, 
If thou wilt goe to faire Nottingham, 

And thore remaino with me." 160 

This curtal fi-yer had kept Fountaines dale 

Seven long yceres and m.ore. 
There was neither knight, lord, nor carle. 

Could make him yeeld before. 

^ Band-(togs, mastives; sacallcdfroni their boiacusuallj 
tycd or chained up at nipht. [Supposed to be so called, 
because, bound or chained, (cauis catcnarius.) should, 
perhaps, be written Ban-dog^ so called irom their loud 
bark. — Richard sons (ZiV.T 




From an old black lettei- copyin the collection of Anthony 
h. Wood. The title now given to this ballad is that which 
it seems to have originally born ; having been foolishly 
altered to " RobinHoodnewly revived." The circimistances 
attending the second part will be explained in a note. 

CcME listen awhile, you gentlemen all, 

With a hey down, down, a down., down, 

That are this bower within. 
For a story of gallant bold Robin Hood, 

I purpose now to begin. 5 

What time of day ? quod Robin Hood then. 

Quoth Little John, 'tis in the prime. 
" Why then we Avill to the green wood gang, 

For we have no vittles to dine." 

As Robin Hood walkt the forrest along, 1 

It was in the mid of the day, 
There he was met of a deft ' young man, 

As ever walkt on the way. 

His doublet was of silk, ' 'tis' said. 

His stockings like scarlet shone ; 15 

And he walked on along the way. 

To Robin Hood then unknown. 

A herd of deer was in the bend, 

All feeding before his face : 
" Now the best of you ile have to my dinner, 20 

And that in a little space." 

Now the stranger he made no mickle adoe. 
But he bends and a right good bow. 

And the best of all the herd he slew. 

Forty good yards him froe. 25 

Well shot, well shot, quod Robin Hood then, 

That shot it was shot in time ; 
And if thou wilt accept of the place. 

Thou shalt be a bold yeoman of Biine. 

Go play the chiven, ^ the stranger said, 30 

Make haste and quickly go. 
Or with my fist, besure of this, 

lie give thee buffets sto'." 

Thou had'st not best buffet me, quod Robin Hood, 
For though I seem forlorn, 35 

Yet I have those will take my part. 
If I but blow my horn. 

Thou wast not best wind thy horn, the stranger 
Beest thou never so much in haste, [said. 

For I can draw out a good broad sword, 40 

And quickly cut the blast. 

Then Robin Hood bent a very good bow. 

To shoot, and that he would fain ; 
The stranger he bent a very good bow. 

To shoot at bold Robin again. 


Various Reading. — V. 25. fiillifroe. 

1 Well-looking, neatly drest. 
™ Mr, Ritson queries this word without remark. We 
can only oflfer a bare conjecture as to its meaning. Shiver 
was anciently written cAiwr, of which there are examples 
in Chaucer and Gower, and it is possible that cftjven is a 
derivative, signifying coward or treviblcr, but we- can 
produce no authority in support of this interpretation.— En, 
n Store. 

Hold thy hand, hold thy hand, quod Robin Hood, 

To shoot it would be in vain ; 
For if we should shoot the one at the other, 

The one of us may be slain. 

But let's take our swords and our broad bucklers, 
And gang under yonder tree. [50 

As I hope to be sav'd, the stranger he said. 
One foot I will not flee. 

Then Robin Hood lent the stranger a blow, 
'Most scar'd him out of his wit : 55 

Thou never felt blow, the stranger he said. 
That shall be better quit. 

The stranger he drew out a good broad sword, 

And hit Robin on the crown, 
That from every haire of bold Robins head 60 

The blood ran trickling down. 

God a mercy, <> good fellow ! quod Robin Hood then, 

And for this that thou hast done. 
Tell me, good fellow, what thou art, 

Tell me where thou doest won. p 65 

The stranger then answered bold Robin Hood. 

lie tell thee where I do dwell ; 
In Maxwell town I was bred and bom. 

My name is young Gamwell. 

For killing of my own fathers steward, 
I am fore'd to this English wood. 

And for to seek an uncle of mine, 
Some call liim Robin Hood. 


" But ' art thou' a cousin of Robin Hood then? 

The sooner we should have done." 75 

As I hope to be sav'd, the stranger then said, 

I am his own sisters son. 

But, lord ! what kissing and courting was there. 
When these two cousins did greet ! 

And they went all that summers day, 80 

And Little John did [not] meet. 

But when they met with Little John, 

He ' unto them' did say, 
master, pray where have you been, 

You have tarried so longawi 


I met with a stranger, quod Robin Hood, 

Full sore he Jiath beaten me. 
Then I'le have a bout with him, quod Little John, 

And try if he can beat me. 

Oh [no], oh no, quoth Rx)bin Hood then, 90 

Little John, it may [not] be so ; 
For he is my own dear sisters son, 

And cousins I have no mo. 

But he shall be a bold yeoman of mine, 

My chief man next to thee ; 95 

And I Robin Hood, and thou Little John, 
And * Scadlock' he shall be. 

And weel be three of the bravest outiaws 

That live in the north country. 
If ' you will' hear more of bold Robin Hood, 100 

In ' the' second part it will be. 

«> Gramerey, ili&rikfi. Qrandmerci, Er. 
p 'Dwel3. 9 More. 



ROBIN nooi). 


Now Robin Hood, Will Scadlock, and Little John, 

Are walkinsj ovci' the plain, 
With a good fat buck, which Will Scadlock, 

With his strong bow had slain. 

Jog on, jog on, cries Robin Hood, 5 

The day it runs full fast ; 
For tho' my nephew me a breakfast gave, 

I have not yet broke my fast. 

Then to yonder lodge let us take our way, 

I think it wondrous good, 10 

Where my nephew by my bold yeome^n 
Shall be welcom'd unto the green-wood. 

With that he took ' his' bugle-horn, 

Full well he could it blow ; 
Streight from the woods came marching down 15 

One hundi-ed tall fellows and mo. 

Stand, stand to your arms, says Will Scadlock, 

Lo ! the enemies are within ken. 
With that Robin Hood he laugh'd aloud, 

Crying, They are my bold yeomen. 20 

Who, when they arriv'd, and Robin espy'd, 

Cry'd, Master, what is your will ? 
We thought you had in danger been, 

Your horn did sound so shrill. 

' This (from an old black letter copy in major Pearsons 
collection) is evidently the genuine second part of the pre- 
sent ballad ; although constantly printed as an independent 
article, under the title of " Robin Hood, "Will Scadlock, 
and Little John : Or, a narrative of their victories obtained 
against the prince of Aragon and the two giants ; and how 
Will Scadlock married the princess. Tune of Robin Hood : 
or Hey down, do^vn, a down:" Instead of which, in all 
former editions, are given the following incoherent stanzas, 
which have all the appearance of being the fragment of a 
dififerent ballad : 

Thbn bold Robin Hood to tho north he would go. 

With valour and mickle might, 
With sword by his side, which oft had been tri'd, 

To fight and recover his right. 

The first that he met was a bonny bold Scot, 5 

His servant he said ho would be. 
No, quoth Robin Hood, it cannot be good. 

For thou wilt prove false unto me ; 

Thou hast not been true to sire nor cuz. 

Nay, marry, the Scot ho said, Id 

As true as your heart, lie never part, 

Gudc master, be not afraid. 

Then Robin turned his face to tlio cast. 

Fight on, my merry men stout ; 
Our cause is good, quod bravo Robin Hood, 15 

And wc shall not bo beaten out. 

Tho battel grows hot on every Aide, 

The Scotchman made groat moan : 
Quoth Jockey, Gude faith, they fight on each side. 

Would I wore with my wife Joan 1 2{) 

The enemy compast bravo Robin about, 

Tis long ere the battel ends ; 
Ther's neither will yield, nor give up the field. 

For both arc supplied with friends. 

Thin song it was mfidc in Robin Hoods dayoa : 25 

Lot's pray unto Jove above. 
To give us true peace, minchief may cease, 

And war may give place unto lovo. 

Now nay, now nay, quoth Robin Hood, 25 

The danger is past and gone ; 
I would have you welcome my nephew here, 

That has paid me two for one. 

In feasting and sporting they passed the day. 
Till Phoebus sunk into the deep ; * 30 

Then each one to his quarters hy'd. 
His guard there for to keep. 

Long had they not walked within the gi*cen-wood 

But Robin he soon espy'd, 
A beautiful damsel all alone, 35 

That on a black palfrey did ride. 

Her riding-suit was of a sable hew black, 

Cypress over her face, 
Through which her rose-like cheeks did blusli. 

All with a comely grace. 40 

Come tell me the cause, thou pretty one. 

Quoth Robin, and tell me aright. 
From whence thou comest, and whither thou gocst. 

All in this mournful plight ? 

From London I came, the damsel reply 'd, 45 

From London upon the Thames, 
Which circled is, grief to tell ! 

Besieg'd with foreign arms, 

By the proud prince of Arragon, 

Who swears by his martial liand 50 

To have the princess to his spouse. 

Or else to waste this land ; 

Except such champions can be found, 

That dare fight three to three. 
Against the prince, and giants twain, 55 

Most horrid for to see j 

Whose grisly looks, and eyes like brands, 

Strike terrour where they come, 
With serpents hissing on their helms, 

Instead of feathered plume. 60 

The princess shall be the victor's prize. 

The king hath vow'd and said, 
And he that shall the conquest win. 

Shall have her to his bride. 

Now we are four damsels sent abroad, 65 

To the east, west, north, and south, 

To ti'y whose fortune is so good 
To find these champions * out.* 

But all in vain we have sought about, 

For none so bold there are 70 

That dare adventure life and blood, 
To free a lady fair. 

When is the day ? quoth Robin Hood, 

Tell me this and no more. 
On Midsummer next, the dam'sel said, 75 

Which is June the twenty-four. 

With that the tears trickled down her cheeks, 

And silent was her tongue ; 
With sighs and sobs she took her leave. 

Away her palfrey sprung. 80 

Various Rbadinob.— F. 35. Of a. 

F. 60. forth. 



The news struck Robin to the heart, 

He fell down on the grass, 
His actions and his troubled mind 

Shew'd he perplexed was. 

Where lies your grief? quoth Will ' Scadlock,' 85 

mastei', tell to me : 

If the damsels eyes have pierc'd your heart, 
I'll fetch her back to thee. 

Now nay, now nay, quoth Robin Hood, 

She doth not cause my smart ; 90 

But 'tis the poor distressed pi'incess, 
That wounds me to the heart : 

I'll go fight the [prince and] giants all. 

To set the lady free. 
The devil take my soul, quoth Little John, 95 

If I part with thy company. 

Must I stay behind ? quoth Will. Scadlock, 

No, no, that must not be ; 
T'le make the third man in the fight. 

So we shall be three to three. 100 

These words cheer'd Robin to the heart, 

Joy shone within his face. 
Within his arms he hugg'd them both, 

And kindly did imbrace. 

Quoth he. We'll put on mothley grey, 105 

And long staves in our hands, 
A scrip and bottle by our sides. 

As come from the holy land. 

So may we pass along the high-way. 

None will ask us from whence we came, 110 
But take us pilgrims for to be. 

Or else some holy men. 

Now they are on their journey gone, 

As fast as they may speed. 
Yet for all their haste, ere they arriv'd, 115 

The princess forth was led, 

To be deliver' d to the prince, 

Who in the list did stand, 
Prepar'd to fight, or else receive 

His lady by the hand. 120 

With that he walk'd about the lists, 

With giants by his side : 
Bring forth, said he, your champions, 

Or bring me forth my bride. 

This is the four and twentieth day, 125 

The day prefixt upon : 
Bring forth my bride, or London burns, 

1 swear by * Alcaron ^' 

s Acaron. This termagant prince seems intended for a 
sort of Mahometan Pagan ; but Arragon, at least the 
county of Arragon, was never in the hands of the Moors, 
and there has been a succession of Christian Kings from 
the year 1034. Alcaron is a deity formed by metathesis 
from Alcoran, a book. This conversion is much more 
ancient than the present ballad. Thus, in the old metrical 
romance of Tlie sowdon of Babyloyne, a MS. in the posses- 
sion of Dr. Farmer : 

"Whan Lahan herde of this myschief, 

A sory man was he. 
He trumped his men to relefe. 

For to cease that tyme mente he, 
Mersadage kinge of Barbarye 

He did carye to his tente. 
And beryed him by right of Sarsen3'^e, 
With brennynge fire and rich oynement ; 

Then cries the king, and queen likewise. 

Both weeping as they ' spake,' 1 30 

Lo ! we have brought our daughter dear. 
Whom we are forc'd to forsake. 

With that stept out bold Robin Hood, 

Crys, My liege, it must not be so : 
Such beauty as the fair princess 135 

Is not for a tyrants mow ^ 

The prince he then began to storm, 

Cries, Fool, fanatick, baboon "! 
How dare thou stop my valour's prize ? 

I'll kill thee with a frown. 140 

Thou tyrant Turk, thou infidel. 

Thus Robin began to reply. 
Thy frowns I scorn ; lo ! here's my gage, 

And thus I thee defie. 

And for those two Goliahs there, 145 

That stand on either side, 
Here are two little Davids by, 

That soon can tame their pride. 

Then the king did for armour send. 

For lances, swords, and shields ; 150 

And thus all three in armour bright, 

Came marching to the field. 

The trumpets began to sound a charge, 

Each singled out his man ; 
Their arms in pieces soon were hew'd, 155 

Blood sprang from every vain. 

The prince he reacht Robin Hood a blow, 

He struck with might and main. 
Which forc'd him to reel about the field, 

As though he had been slain. ICO 

God-a-mercy, quoth Robin, for that blow ! 

The quarrel shall soon be try'd ; 
This stroke shall shew a full divorce 

Betwixt thee and thy bride. 

So from his shoulders he's cut his head, 165 

Which on the ground did fall. 
And grumbling sore at Robin Hood, 

To be so dealt withal. 

The giants then began to rage 

To see their prince lie dead : 1 70 

Thou's be the next, quoth Little John, 

Unless thou well guard thy head. 

And songe the dirige of Alkaron, 

That bibill is of here laye; 
And wayled his deth everychon. 

Seven nyghtis and seven dayes." 

Here Alkaron is expressly the name of a book (i.e. the 
Koran or Alcoran) ,- in the following passage it is that of 
aooD : 

" Now shall ye here of Laban : 

Whan tidynges to him were comen, 
Tho was he a fulle sory man. 

Whan he herde howe his vitaile were nomen, 
And howe his men were slayne. 

And Gye was go safe hem froo ; 
He defyed Mahoundc, and Apolyne, 
Jubiter, Astarot, and Alcaron also." 
One might, however, read Acheron. ' Mouth 

« For fanatick, baboon .' we should probably read 'fraw j 
tick' baboon ! | 



With that his fnulchion he wherl'd about, 
It was Vtotli keen and sliarp ; 

lie clavo the giant to tlie belt, 
And cut in twain his lieart. 


I Will Scadlock well had play'd his ])art, 

I The giant he had brought to his knee ; 

I Quoth Will, The devil cauuot break his fast, 

I Unless he have you all tliree. 130 

So with his faulchion he run him through, 

A deep and ' gliastly ' wound ; 
Who dani'd and Ibam'd, curst and blasphem'd, 

And then fell to the ground. 

Now all the lists with shouts were fiU'd, 185 

The skies they did resound 
Which brought the princess to herself, 

Who had fal'n in a swound. 

The king and queen, and princess fair, 

Came walking to the place, 190 

And gave the champions many thanks, 
I And did them further grace. 

i Tell me, quoth the king, whence you are, 
I That thus disguised came, 

1 Whose valour speaks that noble blood 195 

Doth run through every vain. 

A boon, a boon, quoth Robin Hood, 

On my knees I beg and crave. 
By my crown, quoth the king, I grant, 

Ask what, and thou shalt have. 200 


. Then pardon I beg for my merry men, 

Whicli are in the green-wood, 
\ For Little John, and Will Scadlock, 
j And for me, bold Robin Hood. 

I Art thou Robin Hood ? quoth the king ; 205 

j For the valour tlu>u hast shewn, 
! Your pardons I do freely grant. 
And welcome every one, 

The princess I promise the victor's prize. 

She cannot have you all three. 210 

She shall chuse, quoth Robin. Said Little Joi:ii, 
Then little shai'e falls to me. 

Then did the princess view all three. 

With a comely lovely grace. 
And took Will Scadlock by the hand, 215 

Saying, Here I make my choice. 

With that a noble lord stept forth, 

Of Maxficld carl was he, 
Who look"d Will Scadlock in the face. 

And wept most bitterly. 220 

Quoth he, I had a sou like thoo, 

Whom I lov'd wondrous well, 
But he is gone, or ratlit-r dead, 

His name it is young Gamwell. 

Then did Will Scadlock ftill on his knees, 22.") 

Cries, Father ! father ! hero, 
Here kneels your son, your young Gamwell, 

You said you lov'd so dear. 

But, lord ! what iinhracing and kissing was there, 
Wlien all these friends were met ! 230 

They are gone to the wedding, and so to [tl«e] 
And &o 1 bid you good night. [b«>ddiiig ; 


From an old black Icttor onpy in n private oollcetion, 
compared with another in t'lat of Anthony a Wood. The 
full title is: "Renowned Ilobin Iloitd ; Or, His famous 
archery truly related in the worthy exploits ho acted be- 
fore queen Katherine, he bcitig an outlaw man ; and how ho 
obtained his own and bis fellows pardon. To a new tune." 

It is scarcely worth oh ;;'rving tliat there was no queen 
consort named ICatherink before Henry the fifths time; 
but as Henry the eighth had no less than three wives so 
called, the name would be sufficiently familiar to our 
ballad maker. 

Gold tane from the kings harbengers, 
Downe, a dotcne, a dojcney 
As seldome hath beene scene, 
Dozvne, a doivne, a dotctie, 
And carried by bold Robin Hood 5 

For a present to the queene, 
Downe, a downe, a downe. 

If that I live a yearc to an end, 

Thus can^ queene Katherine say. 
Bold Robin Hood, I will be thy friend. 

And all thy yeomen gay. 

The queene is to her chamber gone. 

As fast as she can wen '^ ; 
She calls unto her lovely page. 

His name was Richard Patrington. 

"Come thou hither to mee, thou lovely page, 

Come thou hither to mee ; 
For thou must post to Nottingham, 

As fast as thou can dree >' ; 

And as thou goest to Nottingham, 

Search all the English wood ^, 
Enquire of one good yeoman or another, 

That can tell thee of Robin Hood. 

Sometimes hee went, sometimes hee ran, 

As fost as hee could win ; 
And when hee came to Nottingham, 

There hee tooke up his innc. 

And when lie came to Nottingham, 

And had tooke up his inne. 
He cals for a pottle of Rhenish wine. 

And dranke a health to his queene. 

There sate a yeoman by his side, 

Tell mee, sweet page, said hee. 
What is thy businesse and the cause. 

So far in the north countrey ? 

This is my businesse and the cause. 

Sir, rie tell it you for good. 
To encjuire of one good yc^onian or another, 

To toll mee of Robin Hood. 

" lie get my hoi'se betimes in the mornc, 40 

By it ))(> break of day. 
And I will shew thee bold Robin Hood, 

And all his yeomen gay." 

V Did. Jt Wend.go, hyo. >• Hasten. (Seep. 77) 
I If I tujlcwood forest bo here meant, the queen is a little 
out in lier geography : she probably moans Sherwood, but 
neither was that in the pagv'a way to Nottingham, arfd 
llarnsdale was still further north. Heo '♦ Ancient popular 
poetry," 1701, p. 3. 










When that he came at Robin Hoods place, 

Hee fell down on his knee : 45 

« Queen Katherine she doth greet you well, 
She greets you well by mee ; 

She bids you post to fair London court. 

Not fearing any thing ; 
For there shall be a little sport, 50 

And she hath sent you her ring." 

Robin Hood tooke his mantle from his back, 

It was of the Lincolne greene, 
And sent it by this lovely page, 

For a present unto the queene. 55 

In summer time, when leaves grow green, 

It's a seemely sight to see. 
How Robin Hood himselfe had drest, 

And all his yeomandry^. 

He clothed his men in Lincolne greene, 60 

And himselfe in scarlet red ; 
Blacke hats, white feathers, all alike. 

Now bold Robin Hood is rid : 

And when hee came at Londons court, 

Hee fell downe on his knee. 65 

Thou art welcome, Loeksly, said the queen. 
And all thy good ' yeoraandree.' 

The king is into Finsbury field *= 

Marching in battle ray <!, 
And after follows bold Robin Hood^ 70 

And all his yeomen gay. 

Come hither, Tepus, said the king. 

Bow-bearer after mee ; 
Come measure me out with this line. 

How long our mark must be. 75 

b Yeomanry, followers. 

<-■ GroundnearMoorfields, London, famous in old times 
for the archery practised there, " In the year 1498," says 
Stow, " all the gardens which had continued time out of 
minde, without Mooregate, to wit, ahout and beyond the 
lordship of Fensherry, were destroyed. And of them was 
made a plaine field for archers to shoote in." Survay of 
London, 1598, p. 351. See also p. 77j where it is observed 
that " about the feast of S. Bartlemew . . . the oflBcers of 
the city . . . were challengers of all men in the subui'bes, 
. . . before the lord maior, aldermen, and sherifiFes, in 
Fensbery fielde, to shoote the standarde, broade arrow, 
and flight, for games." There is a tract in titled, " Ayme 
for Finsburie archers, or an alphabetical table of the 
names of every marke within the sameJlields, with the true 
distances, both by the map, and dimensuration with the 
line. Published for the ease of the skilfuU, and behoofe of 
the yoonge beginners in the famous exercise of archerie, by 
J. J. and E. B. To be sold at the signe of the Swan in Grub 
street, by F. Sergeant. 1594. 16mo. Republished by R. P. 
1604 ; and again by James Partridge, 1628. l2mo. 

The practice of shooting here is alluded to by Cotton, in 
his Virgile travesiie; (b. iv.) 1667: 

" And arrows loos'd from Grub-street bow, 
" In FmsBCRY, to him are slow ;" 
and is said to have continued till within the memory of 
persons now living. These famous archers are also men- 
tioned by Ben Jonson, in Every man in his humour (act 1. 
scene 1): "Because I dwell at Hogsden, I shall keep 
company with none but the archers ofFinshury." 

d Battle ray. Battle array. The same expression occurs 
in " The tragicaU history of Didaco and Violenta," 1567 : 
" To traverse forth his groimde, to place 
His troupes in batayU ray" 

What is the wager ? said the queene. 
That must I now know here. 

" Three hundred tun of Rhenish wine, 
Three hundred tun of beere ; 

Three hundred of the fattest harts 
That run on Dallom lee ^." 

Thafs a princely wager, said the king, 
That needs must I tell thee. 


With that bespake one Clifton then, 

Full quickly and full soone, 85 

Measure no markes for us, most soveraigne liege, 

Wee'l shoot at sun and moone. 

*' Full fifteene score your marke shall be, 

Full fifteene score shall stand." 
He lay my bow, said Clifton then, 90 

He cleave the willow wand. 

With that the kings archers led about, 

While it was three, and none ; 
With that the ladies began to shout, 

" Madam, your game is gone." 95 

A boone, a boone, queene Katherine cries, 

I crave it on my bare knee ; 
Is there any knight of your privy counsel 

Of queen Katherines part will be ? 

Come hither to mee, sir Richard Lee, 100 

Thou art a knight full good ; 
For I do knowe by thy pedigree 

Thou sprung'st from Gowers blood. 

Come hither to me, thou bishop of; Herefordshire; 

For a noble priest was hee. 105 

By my silver miter, said the bishop then, 

He not bet one peny. 

The king hath archers of his own. 

Full ready and full light. 
And these be strangers every one, 1 10 

No man knowes what they hight ^. 

What wilt thou bet ? said Robin Hood, 

Thou seest our game the worse. 
By my silver miter, then said the bishop, 

All the money within my purse. 115 

What is in thy purse 1 said Robin Hood^, 

Throw it downe on the ground. 
Fifteen score nobles, said the bishop ; 

It's neere an hundred pound &. 

Robin Hood took his bagge from his side, 120 
And threw it downe on the greene ; 

William Scadlocke then went smiling away, 
" I know who this money must win." 

With that the king's archers led about, 

While it was three and three ; 125 

With that the ladies gave a shout, 
" Woodcock, beware thy knee ! " 

e The situation of this chase cannot be ascertained. 
Dalham-tower is in Westmoreland. 

f What they hight, what they are called. 

s Either the bishop was a very bad reckoner, or'here is 
some mistake in the copy : three hundred nobles ar" 
exactly a hundred pounds. The common editions rea. 
ninety-nine angels, which would be no more than £49- 1*. • 



It is three and three, now, said the king, 

The next three juiys for all. 
Robin Hood went and whisper'd the queen, 130 

The kings part shall be but small. 

Robin Hood hee led about, 

Hcc shot it under hand ; 
And Clifton with a bearing arrow ^, 

Hee clave the willow wand. 135 

And httle Midge, the millers son, 

Hee shot not much the worse ; 
He shot within a finger of the prick : 

" Now, bishop, beware thy purse ! " 

A boone, a boone, queen Katherine cries, 140 

I crave ' it ' on my bare knee. 
That you will angry be with none 

That are of mv pai-tie. 

nax you wui angry oe wi 
That are of my pai-tie. 


" They shall have forty daies to come, 

And forty daies to goe. 
And three times forty to sport and play ; 

Then welcome friend or foe." 

Thou art welcome, Robin Hood, said the queeue. 

And so is Little John, 
And so is Midge, the millers son ; 150 

Thrice welcome every one. 


For it was told to me 
That he was slain in the palace gates. 
So far in the north country. 

Is this Robin Hood ? quoth the bishop then. 

As * it seems' well to be : 
Had I knowne * it' had been that bold outliiw, 

I would not [have] bet one peny. 

Hee tooke me late one Saturday at night, 160 

And bound mee fast to a tree. 
And made mee sing a masse, God wot. 

To him and his * yeomandree.' 

What, an if I did, sales Robin Hood, 

Of that masse I was faine ; 
For recompence of that, he sales. 

Here's halfe thy gold againe. 

Now nay, now nay, sales Little John, 

Master, that shall not be ; 
We must give gifts to the kings officers 

That gold will serve thee and mee. 




" Or, a merry profn'eBs between Robin Hood and King 
Ilcnry. Shewing how Robin Hood led the king his chase 
from London to London ; and when he had taken his leave 
of the queen, he returned to merry Slicrwood. To the tune 
of Robin Hood and the beggar." 

From an old black letter copy in tho collection of 
Anthony k Wood. 

Come, you gallants all, to you I do call, 

With hep down, down, an a down, 
That now * arc' in this place ; 
For a song I will sing of Henry the king. 

How he did Robin Hood chase. 5 

VAniofs Reading V. 157. 1 sec. 


Queen Katherin she a match did make. 

As plainly doth appear. 
For three hundred tun of good red wine, 

And three [hundred] tun of beere. 

But yet her archers she had to seek, 10 

With their bows and arrows so good ; 

But her mind it was bent with a good intent, 
To send for bold Robin Hood. 

But when bold Robin he came there. 

Queen Katherin she did say, 15 

Thou art welcome, Locksley, said the queen. 

And all thy yeomen gay. 

For a match of shooting I have made. 

And thou on my part must be. 
" If I miss the mark, be it light or dark, 20 

Then hanged I will be." 

But when the game came to be played. 

Bold Robin he then drew nigh. 
With his mantle of green, most brave to be seen, 

He let his arrows fly. 2b 

And when the ganje it ended was. 

Bold Robin wan it with a grace ; 
But after the king was angry with him. 

And vowed he would him chace. 

What though his pardon granted was, 30 

While he with him did stay ; 
But yet the king was vexed at him. 

When as he was gone liis way. 

Soon after the king from the court did hye. 

In a furioits angry mood, ' 35 

And often enquired both far and near 
After bold Robin Hood. 

But when the king to Nottingham came. 

Bold Robin was in the wood : 
0, come nov.', said he, and let me see 40 

Who can find me bold Robin Hood. 

But when that bold Robin he did hear 

The king had him in chase. 
Then said Little John, 'Tis time to be gone, 

And go to some other place. 45 

And away they went from merry Sherwood, 

And into Yorkshire he did hye ; 
And the king did follow, with a hoop and a hallow. 

But could not come him nigh. 

Yet jolly Robin he passed along, 50 

* And went strait' to Newcastle town ; 

And there ' he' stayed hours two or three, 
And < then' to Barwick ' is' gone. 

When the king did see how Robin did flee, 

He was vexed wondrous sore ; 55 

With a hoop and a hallow he vowed to follow. 
And take him, or never give ore. 

Come now let's away, then crys Little John, 

Let any man follow that dare ; 
To Carlisle we'l hye, with our company, 60 

And so then to Lancaster. 

From Lancaster then to Chester they went. 

And so did king Henry ; 
But Robin [went] away, for he durst not stay, 

For fear of some treachery. 65 

Various Readings.— F. 6. then did. V. 53. he . . . was. 



Says Robin, Come let us for London goe, 

To see our noble queens face, 
It may be she wants our company. 

Which makes the king so us chase. 

When Robin he came queene Katherin before, 70 

He fell low upon his knee : 
" If it please your grace, I am come to this place 

For to speak with king Henry." 

Queen Katherine answered bold Robin Hood again. 
The king is gone to merry Sherwood ; 75 

And when he went away to me he did say, 
He would go and seek Robin Hood. 

" Then fare you well, my gracious queen, 

For to Sherwood I will hye apace ; 
For fain would I see what he would with me, 80 

If I could but meet with his grace." 

But when Idng Henry he came home. 

Full weary, and vexed in mind, 
And that he did hear Robin had been there. 

He blamed dame Fortune unkind. 85 

You're welcome home, * queen' Katherin cryed, 

Henry, my soveraign liege ; 
Bold Robin Hood, that archer good, 

Your person hath been to seek. 

But when king Henry he did ' hear,' 

That Robin had been there him to seeke. 

This answer he gave. He's a cunning knave. 
For I have sought him this whole three weeks, 

A boon ! a boon ! ' queen' Katherin cry'd, 

I beg it here * of your gi-acfe, 
To pardon his life, and seek not strife : 

And so endeth Robin Hoods chase. 




" He met two priests upon the way. 
And forced them with him to pray ; 
For gold they prayed, and gold they had. 
Enough to make bold Robin glad ; 
His share came to four hundred pound, 
That then was told upon the ground. 
Now mark, and you shall hear the jest. 
You never heard the like exprest. 
Tune is, Robin Hood was a tall young man, <5:c." 
This ballad (given from an old black letter copy in the 
collection of Anthony a Wood) was entered (amongst 
others) in the stationers book, by Francis Coule, I3th Jime, 
1631 ; and by Francis Grove, 2d Jime, 1656. 

I HAVE heard talk of Robin Hood, 
Derry, derry down. 

And of brave Little John, 
Of fryer Tuck, and Will Scarlet, 

Loxley, and maid Marion. 

But such a tale as this before 
I think was never knone ; 

For Robin Hood disguised himself. 
And ^ from' the wood is gone. 

Various Rkading. — F. 9. to 

Like to a fryer bold Robin Hood 10 

Was accoutered in his array ; 
With hood, gown, beeds, and crucifix. 

He past upon the way. 

He had not gone miles two or three, 

But it was his chance to spy 1 5 

Two lusty priests, clad all in black. 

Come riding gallantly. 

Benedicite, then said Robin Hood, 

Some pitty on me take ; 
Cross you my hand with a silver groat, 20 

For our dear ladies sake. 

For I have been wandring all this day. 

And nothing could I get ; 
Not so much as one poor cup of drink. 

Nor bit of bread to eat. 25 

Now, by our holy dame", the priests repli'd, 

We never a peny have ; 
For we this morning have been rob'd. 

And could no money save. 

I am much afraid, said bold Robin Hood, 30 

That you both do tell a lie ; 
And now before you do go hence, 

I am resolv'd to try. 

When as the priests heard him say so. 

Then they rode away amain ; 35 

But Robin Hood betook to his heels, 
And soon overtook them again. 

Then Robin Hood laid hold of them both. 
And pull'd them down from their horse : 

spare us, fi'yer ! the priests cry'd out, 40 

On us have some remorse ! 

You said you had no mony, quoth he. 

Wherefore, without delay. 
We three will fall down on our knees. 

And for mony we will pray. 45 

The priests they could not him gainsay. 
But down they kneeled with speed : 

Send us, send us, then quoth they. 
Some mony to serve our need. 

The priests did pray with a mournful chear, 50 

Sometimes their hands did wring ; 
Sometimes they wept, and cried aloud. 

Whilst Robin did merrily sing. 

When they had been praying an hours space, 
The priests did still lament ; 55 

Then quoth bold Robin, Now let's see 
What mony heaven hath us sent. 

We will be sharers all alike 

Of [the] mony that we have ; 
And there is never a one of us 60 

That his fellow shall deceive. 

The priests their hands in their pockets put. 

But mony would find none : 
We'l search ourselves, said Robin Hood, 

Each other, one by one. 65 

i Our holy dame. The virgin Mary (so called) ; untess, 
for "our holy dame," we should read our halidome, which 
may mean our holyness, honesty, chastity: haligdome, 
sanctimonia, Lye's Saxon dictionary. 



Then Rol)iii took paiiis to search them botli, 

And ho found good store of gold, 
Five hundi*od peeces presently 

Upon the grass was told. 

Hei*e is a brave show, said Robin Hood, 70 

Such store of gold to see, 
And you shall each one have a part, 

Cause you prayed so heartily. 

He gave them fifty pounds a-peccc, 

And the rest for himself did keep : 7."j 

The priests [they] dui-st not speak one word, 

But they sighed wondrous deep. 

With that the priests rose up from their knees, 

Thmking to have parted so : 
Nay, nay, says Robin Hood, one thing more 80 

I have to say ere you go. 

You shall be sworn, said bold Robiu Hood, 

Upon this holy grass. 
That you will never tell lies again, 

Which way soever you pass. 

The second oath that you here must take. 

That all the days of your live?,, 
You shall never tempt maids to sin, 

Nor lye with other mens wives. 

The last oath you shall take, it is this, 

Be charitable to the poor ; 
Say, you have met with a holy fryar, 

And I desire no mox'e. 

He set them on their horses again, 

And away then they did ride ; 
And he return'd to the merry jrreen-wood, 

With great joy, mirth, and pride. 






From an old black letter copy in the coUeotion of 
Anthony a Wood. The full title is: "Robin Hood his 
rescuing Will Stutly from the slicrilT and his men, who 
had taken him prisoner, and was poing to hang him. To 
the tune of Robin Hood and queen luitherinc J." 

When Robin Hood in the green wood liv'd, 
Derry, derry doivn, 
Under the gr(!on wood tree, 
Tidings there came to him with speed, 
Tidings for certainty. 

IJey down, dcrry, derry, down, 

That Will Stutly surprized was, 

And eke in j)ris()n lay ; 
Three varlets that the shei'ifi' had hired. 

Did likely him betray, 

" I ^, and to-morrow hanged must be, 
To-morrow as soon-jis it is day ; 

Before they could tliis^ictory get, 
Two of them did Stutly slay." 

VAniorjs Hradino. — V.&i. Robin Hood. 
„ _ i~Aye. 


i See hf/ore, p. 8G. 

When Rol)in Hood he lieard this uev/s, 15 

Lord ! he was grieved sore ; 
And to his merry men he did say, 

(Who altogether swore) 

That Will Stutly should rescued be, 

And be brought ' back' again ; 20 

Or else should many a gallant wight 

For his sake there be slain. 

He cloathed himself in scaj^let * red,' 

His men were all in green ; 
A finer shew, throughout the world, 2') 

In no place could be seen. 

Good lord ! it was a gallant sight 

To see them all on a row ; 
With every man a good broad sword, 

And eke a good yew bow. ,']0 

Forth of the green wood are they gone. 

Yea all couragiously. 
Resolving to bring Stutly home. 

Or every man to die. 

And when they came the castle ncer, 35 

Whereas Will Stutly lay, 
I hold it good, saith Robin Hood, 

Wee here in ambush stay, 

And send one forth some news to Iicar, 

To yonder palmer^ fair, 40 

That stands under the castle wall. 
Some news he may declaxe. 

With that steps forth a bi-ave young man. 

Which was of courage bold. 
Thus did hee speak to the old man : 45 

I pray thee, palmer old. 

Tell me, if that thou riglitly ken. 

When must Will Stutly die. 
Who is one of bold Robin's men, 

And here doth prisoner lie ? 50 

Alack ! alass ! the palmer said, 

And for ever wo is me ! 
Will Stutly hanged must be this day, 
, On yonder gaUows tree. 

had his noble master known, 55 

He would some succour send ; 
A few of his bold yeomandree™ 

Full soon would fetch him hence. 

I ", that is true, the young man said ; 

I, that is true, said he ; GO 

Or, if they were neer to this place, 

They soon would set him free. 

But fare ' thee' well, thou good old man. 

Farewell, and thanks to thee ; 
If Stutly hanged be this day, flS 

Rcveng'd his death will be. 

1 A ■palmer was, properly, a pilgrim who had visited th« 
Holy Land, from the palm-branch or cross which ho bore 
as a sign of such visitation : but it is probable that the 
distinction between palmers and other pilgrims was never 
much attended to in this country. (See p. 85, 1. 1((5, &c.; 
The palmer in the text seems to be no more than a com- 
mon bcggcr. 

"> Yeomanry, followers. " Aye. 





Ilee was no sooner from the palmer gone, 

But the gates * were' open'd wide, 
And out of the castle Will Stutly came. 

Guarded on every side. 70 

And there they tumd them back to back, 
In the middle of them that day, 

'Till Robin Hood approached near, 
With many an archer gay. 


When hee was forth of the castle come, 

And saw no help was nigh, 
Thus he did say to the sheriff. 

Thus he said gallantly : 

With that an arrow by them flew, 

I wisf from Robin Hood ; 
Make haste, make haste, the sheriff he said, 

Make haste, for it is good. 


Now seeing that I needs must die, 75 

Grant me one boon, said he, 
For my noble master nere had a man, 

That yet was hang'd on the tree. 

The sheriff is gon, his ^ doughty ' men 
Thought it no boot to stay. 

But as their master had them taught, 
« They' run full fast away. 



Give me a sword all in my hand. 

And let mee be unbound, 80 
And with thee and thy men He fight, 

'Till I he dead on the ground. 

stay, stay, Will Stutly said, 
Take leave ere you depart ; 

You neere will catch bold Robin Hood, 
Unless you dare him meet 

135 1 



But his desu'e he would not grant, 

ill betide you, quoth Robin Hood, 

His wishes were in vain ; 
For the sheriff had sworn he hanged should be, 85 
And not by the sword be slain. 

That you so soon are gone ; 
My sword may in the scabbord rest. 
For here our work is done. 

140 1 



Do but unbind my hands, he saies. 

I little thought, ' Will Stutly said,' 


I will no weapons crave. 
And if I hanged be this day, 

Damnation let me have. 90 

When I came to this place. 
For to have met with Little Jolm, 
Or seen my masters face. 


no, no, the sheriff said, 
Thou shalt on the gallows die, 

1 0, and so shall thy master too, 
If ever in me it lie. 

Thus Stutly was at liberty set. 
And safe brought from his foe : 

« thanks, thanks to my master, 
Since here it was not so. 


0, dastard coward ! Stutly cries, 95 

Thou faint heart pesant slave ! 
If ever my master do thee meet. 

Thou shalt thy paiment have. 

And once again, my fellows [all]. 
We shall in the green woods meet. 

Where we [will] make our bow-strings twang, 
Musick for us most sweet." 

My noble master * doth thee' scorn, 

And all thy ' coward' crew : 100 
Such silly imps unable are 

Bold Robin to subdue. 


But when he Avas to the gallows come. 

And ready to bid adiew, 
Out of a bush leaps Little John, ] 05 

And comes Will Stutly <to :' 

« I pray thee. Will, before thou die, 

Of thy dear friends take leave ; 
I needs must borrow? him for a while. 

How say you, master * shrie ve 'V 110 




" Shewing how he won a prize on the sea, and how he 
gave the one halfe to his dame, and the other to the build- 
ing of almes-houses. The tune is, In summer time, &c." 

From three old black letter copies ; one in the collection 
of Anthony a Wood, another in the British Museum, and 
the third in a private collection. 

Now, as I hve, the sheriff he said, 
That varlet will I know ; 

Some sturdy rebell is that same, 
Therefore let him not go. 

In summer time, when leaves grow green. 
When they doe grow both green and long,- 

Of a bold outlaw, call'd Robin Hood, 
It is of him I sing this song, — 




Then Little John most hastily, 1 1 5 

Away cut Stutly's bands. 
And from one of the ' sheriffs' men, 

A sword twichti from his hands. 

When the liUy leafe, and the elephant% 
Doth bud and spring with a merry cheere. 

This outlaw was weary of the wood side, 
And chasing of the fallow deere. 


" Here, Will, here, take thou this same. 

Thou canst it better sway ; ] 20 

And here defend thyself awhile, 
For aid will come straightway." 

Various Readings.— V. 131. doubtless. V. 143. when | 
I came here. 

r Wis, trow, believe. 
» Elephant. This word is evidently a corruption. Mr. | 
Ritson does not attempt to restore it, contenting himself 
with a query. It seems pretty evident that we should 
read plant for the second syllable, but we can offer no 
conjecture as to the prefix.— Ed. 

^ Aye. V Pledge, bail. 
^ Snatched, \yre!5tcd sharply. 




** The fisher-men bi-avc more mony have 

Than any niercliants two or three ; 1 

Tlierefore I will to Scarborough go, 
That I a fishermau brave may be." 

This outlaw called his merry men all, 
As they sate under the green-wood tree : 

"If any of you have gold to spend, 15 

I pray you heartily spend it with me." 

Now, quoth Robin Hood, He to Scarborough go. 

It seems to be a very faire day. 
*He' took up his inne at a widdow womans house, 

Hard by upon the water gray : 20 

Who asked of him. Where wert thou borne ? 

Or tell to me where dost thou fare * ? 
I am a poor fisherman, said he then, 

This day mtrapped all in care. 

" What is thy name, thou fine fell6w, 25 

I pray thee heartily tell it to mee ? " 

" In my own country, where I was borne, 
Men call me Simon over the Lee." 

Simon, Simon, said the good wife, 

I wish thou mayest well brook" thy name. 30 
The out-law was ware" of her courtesie, 

And rejoyced he had got such a dame. 

" Simon, wilt thou be my man ? 

And good round wages He give thee ; 
I have as good a ship of my t)wn, 35 

As any sails upon the sea. 

Anchors and planks tliou shalt not want. 

Masts and ropes that are so long." 
And if you thus do furnish me, 

Said Simon, nothing shall goe wrong. 40 

They pluckt up anchor, and away did sayle. 

More of a day then two or three ; 
When others cast in their baited hooks, 

The bare lines into the sea cast he. 

It will be long, said the master then, 45 

Ere this great lubber do thrive on the sea ; 

I'le assure you he shall have no part of our fish. 
For in truth he is no part worthy. 

woe is me ! said Simon then, 

This day that ever I came here ! 50 

1 wish I were in Plompton parke. 
In chasing of the fallow deere. 

For every clownc laughs me to scomc. 

And tho.y by me set nought at all ; 
If 1 had them in Plompton park, 55 

I would set as little by them all. 

Thoy pluckt up anchor, and away did sayle, 

More of a day then two or three : 
But Simon espyed a shij) of wari'e. 

That sayled towards them most valorously. 60 

« Live. " Enjoy. 

« Aware, scnaible. 

woe is me ! said the master tlien. 

This day that ever I was borne ! 
For all our fish we have got to-day, 

Is evei*y bit lost and forlorneJ'. 

For your French robbers on the sea, 65 

They will not spare of us one man. 
But caiTy us to the coast of Fi-ance, 

And ligge^ us in the prison strong. 

But Simon said. Doe not feare them. 

Neither, master, take you no care ; 70 

Give me my bent bow in my hand. 

And never a Frenchman will I spare. 

" Hold thy peace, thou long lubber. 

For thou ai't nought but brags and boast ; 

If I should cast thee over-board, 75 

There's but a simple lubber lost." 

Simon grew angry at these words, 

And so angry then was he. 
That he took his bent bow in his hand. 

And in the ship-hatch goe doth he. 

Master, tye me to th5 mast, saith he. 
That at my mark I may stand fair. 

And give me my bent bow m my hand. 
And never a Fi'enchman will I spai*e. 



He drew his arrow to the very head. 
And drew it with all might and maine, 

And straightway, in the twinkling of an eye, 
* To' the Frenchmans heart the ' arrow's gane.* 

The Frenchman fell down on the ship hatch, 
And under the hatches ' there ' below ; 90 

Another Frenchman, that him espy'd, 
The dead corpse into the sea doth throw. 

master, loose me from the mast, he said. 
And for them all take you no care ; 

For give me my bent bow in my hand, 95 

And never a Frenchman will I spare. 

Then streight [they] boarded the French ship, 
They lyeing all dead in their sight ; 

They found within * that' ship of warre. 

Twelve thousand pound of mony bright. 100 

The one halfe of the ship, said Simon then, 
He give to my dame and [her] children small ; 

The other halfe of the ship He bestow 
On you that are my fellowes all. 

But now bespake the master then, 105 

For so, Simon, it shall not be. 
For you have won it with your own hand, 

And the owner of it you shall bee. 

'* It shall be so, as I have said ; 

And, with this gold, for the opprest 110 

An habitation I will build. 

Where they shall live in peace aud rest." 

Various Rkadino.— K. 88. Doth . . . arrow gain. 

7 Utterly ruined. 





"Or, a merry combat fought between Robin Hood, 
liittle John, and Will. Scarelock, and three stout Keepers 
in Sheerwood Forrest. 

" Robin was valiant and stout. 

So was Scarelock and John in the field, 
But these Keepers stout did give them rout. 

And make them all for to yield. 
But after the battel ended was, 

Bold Robin did make them amends. 
For claret and sack they did not lack, 
So drank themselves good friends. 
To the time of, Robin Hood and Queen Katherine ; or, 
Robin Hood and the Shepheard." 

From an old black letter copy in the collection of 
Anthony a Wood. 

There's some will talk of lords and knights, 
DouUf a dourif a doun, 
And some of yeomen good ; 
But I will tell you of Will Scarlock, 

Little John, and Robin Hood. 5 

Doun, a douriy a doun, a doun. 

They were outlaws, 'tis well known, 

And men of a noble blood ; 
And many a time was their valour shown 

In the forest of merry Sheerwood. 

Upon a time it chanced so, 10 

As Robin would have it be, 
They all three would a walking go, 

The pastime for to see. 

And as they walked the forest along, 

Upon a Midsummer day, 15 

There was they aware of three keepers, 
i Clad all in green aray. 

With brave long faucheons by their sides. 

And forrest bills in hand, 
They call'd aloud to those bold outlaws, 20 

I And charged them to stand. 

i Why, who are you, cry'd bold Robin, 
} That * speak' so boldly here ? 

** We three belong to King Henry, 
i And are keepers of his deer." 25 

{ The devil * you are !' sayes Robin Hood, 
I I am sure that it is not so ; 

i We be the keepers of this forrest, 
I And that you soon shall know. 

Come, your coats of green lay on the ground, 30 
j And so will we all three, 

I And take your swords and bucklers round, 
I And try the victory. 

I We be content, the keepers said, 
i We be three, and you no less, 35 

! Then why should we be of you afraid, 
»' As' we never did transgress \ 

« Why, if you be three keepers in this forrest. 

Then we be three rangers good. 
And will make you know before you do go, 40 

You meet with bold Robin Hood." 

Vabious Reading.— F. 11. Robin Hood. 

" We be content, thou bold outlaw, i 

Our valour here to trj^, j 

And will make you know, before we do go. 

We will fight before we will fly. 45 j 

Then, come draw your swords, you bold outlaws, . 

No longer stand to prate, j 

But let us try it out with blows, ! 

For cowards we do hate. 1 

Here is one of us for Will Scarlock, 50 i 

And another for Little John, ' 

And I myself for Robin Hood, 
Because he is stout and strong." 

So they fell to it hard and sore, j 

It was on a Midsummers day ; 55 

From eight of the clock 'till two and past, j 

They all shewed gallant play. 

There Robin, and Will, and Little John, 

They fought most manfully, 
'Till ail their winde was spent and gone, C)d i 

Then Robin aloud did cry : | 

hold, hold, cries bold Robin, j 

I see you be stout men ; 

Let me blow one blast on my bugle horn, i 

Then He fight with you again. 65 I 

" That bargain's to make, bold Robin Hood, j 

Therefore we it deny ; 
Thy blast upon the bugle horn 

Cannot make us fight or fly. 

Therefore fall on, or else be gone, 70 

And yield to us the day : 
It never shall be said that we are afraid 

Of thee, nor thy yeomen gay." 

If that be so, cries bold Robin, 

Let me but know your names, 75 

And in the forrest of merry Sheerwood, 

I shall extol your fames. 

And with our names, one of them said, 

What hast thou here to do ? 
Except that thou wilt fight it out, 80 

Our names thou shalt not know. 

We will fight no more, sayes bold Robin, 

You be men of valour stout ; 
Come and go with me to Nottingham, 

And there we will fight it out. 85 

With a but of sack we will bang it * about,' 

To see who wins the day ; 
And for the cost make you no doubt, 

I have gold ' enough ' to pay. 

And ever hereafter so long as we live, 90 

We all will brethren be ; 
For I love these men with heart and hand, 

That will fight and never flee. 

So, away they went to Nottingham, 

With sack to make amends ; 95 

For three days they the wine did chase, 

And drank themselves good friends. 




" Shewing how Robin Hood and the Beggar fought, and 
how he changed cloaths with the lieggar, and liow he 
went a begging to Nottingliam ; and how he saved three 
brethren from being hang'd for stealing of deer. To the 
tune of Robin Hood and the Stranger." 

From an old black letter copy in the collection of 
\jithonv a Wood. 



Come and listen, you gentlemen all. 
Hey down, dotcn, an a down, 

That mirth do love for to hear. 
And a story true lie tell unto you, 

If that you will but draw near. 

In elder times, when merriment was, 

And archery was liolden good. 
There was an outlaw as many ' do ' know, 

Which men called Robin Hood. 

Upon a time it chanced so. 

Bold Robin was merry disposed. 
His time for to spend he did intend, 

Either with friends or foes. 

Then he got upon a gallant brave steed. 

The which was worth angels ° ten, 1.' 

With a mantle of green, most brave to be seen. 
He left all his merry men. 

And riding towards Nottingham, 

Some pastime for to 'spy. 
There was he av/are of a jolly beggar, 

As ere he behold with his eye. 

An old pacht coat the beggar had on, 

Which he daily did use to wear ; 
And many a bag about him did wag. 

Which made Robiu to him repair. 25 

God speed, God speed, said Robin Hood, 

What countryman ? tell to me. 
*' I am Yorkshire, su', but ere you go far. 

Some charity give unto me." 

Why, what wouldst thou have 1 said Robm Hood,30 

I pray thee tell unto me. 
No lands nor livings, the beggar he said, 

But a penny for cliaritie. 

I have no money, said Robin Hood then, 

But a ranger within the wood ; 35 

1 am an outlaw, as many do know, 
My name it is Robui Hood. 

But yet I must toll the, bonny begg.\r. 
That a bout with [thoe] I must ti-y ; 

Thy coat of gray, lay down I say, 10 

And my mantle of gi-een shall lyo by. 

Content, content, the beggar he cry'd. 

Thy ])art it will 1)0 IIk; worse ; 
For 1 hdpo this bout to give thee the rout. 

And then have at thy purse. 45 

Vaihods Rkadino.— V- 25. Robin Hood. 
• I'ieeea of gold coin, value ten bliilliDgs. 

So the beggai- he had a micklc " long staffe, 

And Robin a nut-brown sword ; 
So the beggar di'cw nigh, and at Robin let fly. 

But gave him never a word. 

Fight on, fight on, said Robin Hood then, 50 

This game well pleascth me. 
For every blow Robin gave. 

The beggai' gave buffets three. 

And fighting there full hard and sore. 

Not far from Nottiugham town, 55 

They never fled, 'till from Robin Hoods head 
The blood came trickling down. 

0, hold thy hand, said Robin Hood then. 

And thou and I will agree. 
If that be true, the beggar he said, 60 

Thy mantle come give unto me. 

Now a change, a change, cri'd Robin Hood, 

Thy bags and coat give me ; 
And this mantle of mine He to thee resign. 

My horse and my braverie. 66 

When Robin had got the beggar's clothes. 

He looked round about ; 
Methinks, said he, I seem to be 

For now I have a bag for my bread, 70 

So I have another for corn ; 
I have one for salt, and another for malt. 
And one for my little horn. 

And now I will a begging goe, 

Some charitie for to find. 75 

And if any more of Rabin you'll know, 

In * the' second part 'tis behind. 

Now Robin he is to Nottingham bound, 
With his bag hanging down to his knee, 

His staff, and his coai, scarce worth a groat. 
Yet meri'ilie passed he. 

As Robin he passed the streets along. 

He heard a pittiful cry ; 
Three brethren deal', as he did hear, 

Condemned were to dye. 

Then Robin he highed"^ to the sheriffs [house], 

Some reliefe for to seek ; 
He skipt, and leapt, and capered full high, 

As he went along the street. 

But when to the sheriffs doore he came. 
There a gentleman fine and brave, 

Thou beggar, said lie, come tell unto me 
What it is thou wouldest have. 

No meat, nor drink, said Robin Hood then. 

That I come here to crave ; 
But to get the lives of yeomen three. 

And that I fain would have. 





Various Rkadinos. V. 47. he had. V. 66. Robin Hood. 

i'Oroat, very. 

« Hyed, hastened. 




That cannot be, thou bold beggiir. 

Their fact it is so cleer ; 
I tell to thee, they hanged must be, 100 

For stealing of our king's deer. 

But when to the gallows they did come, 

There was many a weeping eye : 
O, hold your peace, said Robin Hood then, 

For certain * they shall' not dye. 105 

Then Robin he set his horn to his mouth, 

And he blew out blastes three. 
Till a hundred bold archers brave 

Came kneeling down to his knee." 

What is your will, master ? they said, 110 

We are at your command. 
Shoot east, shoot west, said Robin Hood then, 

And see you spare no man. 

Then they shot east, and they shot west, 

Their aiTOws were so keen ; 115 

The sheriffe he, and his companie, 
No longer ' could' be seen. 

Then he stept to those brethren three. 

And away he has them tane,; 
The sheriffe was crost, and many a man lost, 120 

That dead lay on the plain. 

And away they went into the merry green wood. 

And sung with a merry glee ; 
And Robin Hood took these brethren good 

To be of his yeomandrie^. 125 

Now Little John he is a begging gone. 

Seeking for some relief ; 
But of all the beggers he met on the way, 

Little John he was the chief. 




From an old black letter copy in the collection of 
Anthony a Wood : the full title being, * ' A new merry 
Bong of Robin Hood and Little John, shewing how Little 
John went a begging, and how he fought with the four 
beggers, and what a prize he got of the four beggers. The 
tune iSj Robin Hood and the Begger." 

All you that delight to spend some time. 
With a hey down, down, a down, down, 

A merry song for to sing, 
Unto me draw neer, and you shall hear 

How Little John went a begging. 

As Robin Hood walked the forest along. 

And all his yeomandree % 
Sayes" Robin, Some of you must a begging go, 

And, Little John, it must be thee. 

Sayes John, If I must a begging go, 

I will have a palmer's * weed. 
With a staff and a coat, and bags of all sort, 

The better then I may speed. 

Come, give me now a bag for my bread, 

And another for my cheese, 
And one for a peny, when as I get any. 

That nothing I may leese. 

d e Yeomanry, foHowera 

'See page 90. 



But as he was walking himself alone. 

Four beggers he chanced to spy. 
Some deaf, and some blind, and some came behind; 

Sayes John, Heres a brave company, 25 

Good-morrow, said John, my brethren dear. 

Good fortune I had you to see ; 
Which way do you go ? pray let me Imow, 

For I want some company. 

! what is here to do ? then said Little John : 30 

Why ring all these bells ? said he ; 
What dog is a hanging ? Come, let us be ganging &, 

That we the truth may see. 

Here is no dog a hanging, then one of them said. 
Good fellow, Ave tell unto thee ; 35 

But here is one dead, that will give us cheese and 
And it may be one single penny. [bread. 

We have brethren in London, another he said, 

So have we in Coventry, 
In Barwick and Dover, and all the world over, 40 

But ne'er a crookt carril ^ like thee. 

Therefore stand thee back, thou crooked carel ^, 

And take that knock on the crown. 
Nay, said Little John, He not yet be gone, 

For a bout will I have of you round. 45 

Now have at you all, then said Little John, 

If you be so full of your blows ; 
Fight on all four, and nere give ore, 

Whether you be friends or foes. 

John nipped the dumb, and made him to rore, 50 

And the blind ' he made to ' see ; 
And he that a cripple had been scA-'en years. 

He made run then faster than he. 

And flinging them all against the wall. 

With many a sturdie bang, 55 

It made John sing, to hear the gold ring. 
Which again the walls cryed twang. 

Then he got out of the beggers cloak 

Three hundred pound in gold ; 
Good fortune had I, then said Little John, 60 

Such a good sight to behold. 

But what found he in the beggar's bag 
But three hundred pound and three ? 

" If I drink water while this doth last. 

Then an ill death may I dye. 65 

And my begging trade I will now give ore. 

My fortune hath bin so good ; 
Therefore He not stay, but I will away. 

To the forrest of merry Sherwood." 

And when to the forrest of Sherwood he came, 70 

He quickly there did see 
His master good, bold Robin Hood, 

And all his company. 

Various Rbadings.— F. 51. that coxild not 

e Going. 

^ Carl, old felloe. See page 59. 





What news ? What news ? then said llobm llood, 
Come. Little Jolin, tell unto me ; 75 

How hast thou sped witli thy beggers trade t 
For that I fain would see. 

No news but good, said Little John, 
With begging ful wel I have sped ; 

Six hundred and three I have here for thee, 80 
In silver and gold so red. 

* Then ' Robin Hood took Little John by the hand, 

And danced about the oak tree : 
*' If we drink water while this doth last, 

Then an il death may we die." 85 

So to conclude my merry new song, 

All you that delight it to sing ; 
'Tis of Robin Hood, that archer good, 

And how Little John went a begging. 




No ancient copy of this ballad having been met with, it 
is given from an edition of " Robin Hoods Garland," printed 
some years since at York. The tune is " Arthur a Bland.'' 


vVuEN Phoebus had melted the ' sickles ' of ice, 
With a hey down, ^c. 

And likewise the mountains of snow, 
Bold Robin Hood he would ramble away, 

To frolick abroad with his bow. 

ile left all his merry men waiting behind. 
Whilst through the green vallies he pass'd, 

Where he did behold a forester bold, 
Who cry'd out, Friend, whither so fast ? 

I am going, quoth Robin, to kill a fat buck. 

For me and my merry men all ; 
Besides, ere I go, I'll have a fat doe, 

Or else it shall cost me a fall. 

You'd best have a care, said the forester then, 
For these are his majesty's deer ; 15 

Before you shall shoot, the thing I'll dispute, 
For I am head forester here. 

These thirteen long summers, quoth Robin, I'm 
My arrows I here have let fly, [sure. 

Where freely I range ; methinks it is strange 20 
You should have more power than I. 

This forest, quoth Robin, I think is my own. 

And so are the nimble deer too ; 
Therefore I declare, and solemnly swear, 

I'll not be affronted by you. 2.3 

The forester he had a long quarter staff", 
Likewise a broad sword by his side ; 

Without more ado, he presently drew, 
Declaring the truth should bo try'd. 

Bold Robin Hood had a sword of the bes(, 
Thus, ere ho would tak(^ any wrong. 

His eourago was flush, he'd venture a brush, 
And thus they fell to it duig dong. 


The very first blow that the forester gave, 

He made his broad weapon cry twang ; 35 

'Twas over the head, lie fell down for dead, 

that was a damnable bang ! 

But Robin he soon recovered himself, 

And bravely fell to it again ; 
The very next stroke their weapons they broke, 40 

Yet never a man there was slain. 

At quarter staff" then they resolved to play, 
Because they would have the other bout ; 

And bi-ave Robin Hood right valiantly stood, 
UmVilling he was to give out. 45 

Bold Robin he gave him very liard blows, 

The other return'd them as fast ; 
At evei'y stroke their jackets did smoke ; 

Three hours the combat did last. 

At length in a rage the forester grew, TfO 

And cudgel'd bold Robin so sore. 
That he could not standj so shaking his hand, 

He cry'd. Let us freely give o'er. 

Thou art a brave fellow, I needs must confess 

1 never knew any so good ; c5 
Thou art fitting to be a yeoman for me, 

And range in the merry green wood. 

I'll give thee this ring as a token of love. 
For bravely thou hast acted thy part ; 

That man that can fight, in him I delight, 60 

And love him with all my whole heart. 

Robin Hood set his bugle horn to his mouth, 

A blast then he merrily blows ; 
His yeomen did heai*, and strait did appear, 

A hundi'ed with trusty long bows. 65 

Now Little John came at the head of them all, 
Cloath'd in a rich mantle of green ; 

And likewise the rest were gloriously drest, 
A delicate sight to be seen ! 

Lo ! these are my yeomen, said bold Robin Hood, 70 
And thou shalt be one of the train ; 

A mantle and bow, and quiver also, 
I give them whom I entertain. 

The forester willingly enter'd the list, 

They were such a beautiful sight ; 75 

Then with a long bow they shot a fat doe. 
And made a rich supper that night. 

What singing and dancing was in tlie green wood, 

For joy of another new mate ! 
Witli might and delight they spent all the night, 80 

And liv'd at a plentiful i*ate. 

The forester ne'er was so merry before. 
As then he was with these brave souls, 

Who never would fail, in wine, beer, or ale, 
To take off" their cherishing bowls. 85 

Then Robin Hood gave him a mantle of green, 
Broad arrows, and curious long bow : 

This done, th(» next day, so gallant and gay. 
He marched them all on a row. 

Quoth he. My brave yeomen,be true to your trust, flC 
And then we may I'ange the woods wide. 

They all did declare, and solemnly swear, 
Tliey would conquer, or dio by his side. 





" Being an account of their first meeting, their fierce 
•encounter, and conquest. To which is added, their friendly 
agreement ; and how he came to be called Little John. 
Tune of, Arthur a Bland." 

This ballad is named in a schedule of such things under 
an agreement between W. Thackeray and others in 1 689, 
•(Col. Pepys, vol. .5.) but is here given as corrected from a 
copy in the " Collection of Old Ballads," 1723. 

When Robin Hood was about twenty years old, 
Wit?i a hey doimi, down, and a down ; 

He happen'd to meet Little John, 
A jolly brisk blade, right fit for the trade. 

For he was a lusty young man. 5 

The' he was call'd Little, his limbs they were large, 
And his stature was seven foot high ; 

Whereever he came, they quak'd at his name, 
For soon he would make them to fly. 

How they came acquainted, I'll tell you in brief, 1 

If you would but listen awhile ; 
For this vei"y jest, among all the rest, 

I think it may cause you to smile. 

For Robin Hood said to his jolly bowmen, 

Pray tarry you here in this grove ; 1 J 

And see that you all observe well my call. 
While thorough the forest I rove. 

We have had no sport for these fourteen long days. 

Therefore now abroad will I go ; 
Now should I be beat, and cannot retreat, 20 

My horn I will presently blow. 

Then did he shake hands with his merry men all. 
And bid them at present good b' w'ye : 

Then, as near the brook his journey he took, 
A stranger he chanc'd to espy. 25 

They happen'd to meet on a long narrow bridge; 

And neither of them would give way ; 
Quoth bold Robin Hood, and sturdily stood, 

I'll shew you right Nottingham play. 

With that from liis quiver an arrow he drew, 30 

A broad arrow with a goose-wing. 
The stranger reply'd, I'll liquor thy hide. 

If thou offer to touch the string. 

Quoth bold Robin Hood, Thou dost prate lilce an 
For were I to bend but my bow, [ass, 35 

I could send a dart, quite thro' thy proud heart, 
Before thou could'st strike me one blow. 

Thou talk'st like a coward, the stranger reply'd ; 

Well arm'd with a long bow you stand, 
To shoot at my breast, Avhile I, I protest, 40 

Have nought but a staff in my hand. 

The name of a coward, quoth Robin, I scorn, 
Therefore my long bow I'll lay by ; 

And now, for thy sake, a staff wHl I take, 

The truth of thy manhood to trv. 45 

Then Robin Hood stept to a thicket of trees, 
And chose him a staff of ground oak ; 

Now this being done, away he did run 
To the strangei', and merrily spoke : 

Lo ! see my staff" is lusty and tough, 50 

Now here on the bridge we will play ; 

Whoever falls in, the other shall win 
The battle, and so we'll away. 

With all my whole heart, the stranger reply'd, 
I scorn in the least to give out ; " 55 

This said, they fell to't without more dispute, 
And theii' staffs they did flourish about. 

At first Robin he gave the stranger a bang, 
So hard that he made his bones ring : 

The stranger he said. This must be repaid, 
I'll give you as good as you bring. 


So long as I am able to handle a staff. 
To die in your debt, friend, I scorn. 

Then to it each goes, and follow'd their blows, 
As if they'd been threshing of corn. 65 

The stranger gave Robin a crack on the crowu. 
Which caused the blood to appear ; 

Then Robin em'ag'd, more fiercely engag'd, 
And follow'd his blows more severe. 

So thick and so fast did he lay it on him, 70 

With a passionate fury and ire ; 
At every stroke he made him to smoke. 

As if he had been all on fire. 

then into fuiy the stranger he grew, 

And gave him a damnable look, 75 

And with it a blow that laid him full low. 
And tumbl'd him into the brook. 

1 prithee, good fellow, o where art thou now ? 

The stranger, in laughter, he cry'd. 
Quoth bold Robm Hood, Good faith, in the flood. SO 
And floating along with tlie tide. 

I needs must acknowledge thou art a brave sor.l. 

With thee I'll no longer contend ; 
For needs must I say, thou hast got the day. 

Our battel shall be at an end. " 8.5 

Then unto the bank he did presently wade, 

And pull'd himself out by a thorn ; 
Which done, at the last he blow'd a loud blast 

Straitway on his fine bugle-horn : 

The eecho of which through the vallies did fly, 90 
At which his stout bowmen appear'd. 

All cloathed in green, most gay to be seen, 
So up to their master they steer'd. 

0, what's the matter ? quoth William Stutely, 
Good master you ai'e wet to the skin. 

No matter, quoth he, the lad which you see 
In fisrhtinor hath tumbl'd me in. 


He shall not go scot-free, the others reply'd ; 

So strait they were seizing him there. 
To duck him likewise: but Rjbin Hood cries, 100 

He is a stout fellow : forbear. 

You 11. 





There's no one sliall wrong thee, friend, be not 
These Itownicu upon mo do wait ; [afraid ; 

There's threesc-oro and niiio; if thi>u nilt be mine, 
Thou sliult liave my livt-ry strait, 1 Oo 

And otlier accoutrements fit for a man : 

Speak up jolly blade, never fear. 
I'll teach you also the use of the bow, 

To shoot at the fat fallow deer. 

O, here is my hand, the stranger reply'd 1 10 

I'll serve you with all my whole heart ; 

My name is John Little, a man of good mettle : 
Ne're doubt me, for I'll play my part. 

His name shall be alter'd quoth William Stutely, 
And I will his godfather be ; 115 

Prepare then a feast, and none of the least 
For we will be merry, quoth he. 

They presently fetch'd him a brace of fat does, 
With humming strong liquor likewise ; 

They lov'd what was good; so, in the greenwood, 1 20 
This pretty sweet babe they baptize. 

He w^as, I must tell you, but seven foot high, 

And, may be, an ell in the waste ; 
A sweet pretty lad : much feasting they had ; 

Bold Robin the christ'ning grac'd, i 25 

With all his bowmen, Avhich stood in a ring. 
And were of the Nottingham breed ; 

firave Stutely came then, with seven yeomen, 
And did in this manner proceed : 

This infant was called John Little, quoth he; 130 
Which name shall be changed anon : 

Tlie words we'll transpose ; so wherever he goes, 
His name shall be call'd Little John. 

They all with a shout made the elements ring ; 

So soon as the office was ore, 135 

To feasting they went, with true meii-iment, 

And tippl'd strong liquor gillorc '. 

Then Robin he took the pretty sweet babe, 
And cloath'd him from top to the toe, 

In garments of gx-een, most gay to be seen, 
And gave him a curious long bow. 


« Thou shalt be an archer as well as the best. 
And range in the green wood with us ; 

Where we'll not want gold nor silver, behold. 
While bishops have ought in their purse. 14o 

We live here like 'squires, or hn-ds of renown. 

Without ere a foot of free land ; 
We feast on good cheer, with wine, ale and beer. 

And ev'ry thing at our couunand." 

Then musick and dancing did finish the day ; loO 
At length, when the sun waxeil low, 

Then all the whole train the grove did refi*ain, 
And unto theii" caves they did go. 

And so ever after, as long as he liv'd, 

Altho' he was proper and tall, 165 

y^t, nevei'theless, the truth to express, 
Still Little John they did liim call. 



This excellent ballad, given from the common edition 
of Aldermary-church-yard, (compared with the York 
copj-,) is supposed to be modern: the story, however, 
seems alluded to in the ballad of '-'Kcnowncd Robin 
Hood." The full title is " The bishop of Herefords enter- 
tainment by Robin Hood and Little John, ic. in merry 
Barnsdale." The tune is added from an engraved sheet. 

Some they will talk of bold Robm Hood, 

And some of barons bold ; 
But I'll tell you how heserv'd the bishop of Here- 

When he robb'd him of his gold. [ford. 

As it befel in merrj' Barnsdale, ;> 

' AH' under the green-wood-tree. 
The bishop of Hereford was to come by, 

With all his company. 

Come, kill [me] a ven'son, said bold Robin Hood, 
Come, kill me a good fat deer, 1 

The bishop of Hereford is to dine with me to-day, 
And he shall pay well for his cheer. 

Well kill a fat ven'son, said bold Robin Hood, 

And di'ess it by the liighway side ; 
And we will watch the bishop narrowly, 1 .'> 

Lest some other way he should ride. 

Robin Hood dress'd himself in shepherd's attire. 

With six of his men als6 ; 
And, when the bishop of Hereford came by, 

They about the fire did go. 20 

what is the matter ? then said the bishop, 
Or for whom do you make this a-do ? 

Or why do you kill the king's ven'son, 
When your company is so few ? 

We are shepherds, said bold Robin Hood, 2> 

And we keep sheep all the year, 
And we are disposed to be merry this day, 

And to kill of the king's fat deer. 

You are bimve fellows ! said the bishop. 

And the king of your doings shall know : ^9 

Therefore make haste, and come along with me, 
For before the king you shall go. 

pardon, pardon, said bold Robin Hood, 

O pai-don, 1 thee pray ! 
For it becomes not your lordships coat 

To take so many lives awa}-. 



No pardon, no pardon, said the bishop. 

No jiardon I thee owe ; 
Therefore make haste, and come along with me. 

For before the lung you shall go. 40 

Then Robin set his back against a tree, 

And his foot against a thorn, 
And froni undeinieath his shepherds coat 

He puU'd out a bugle horn. 




He put the little end to his mouth, 45 

And a loud blast did he blow, 
'Till threescore and ten of bold Robin's men 

Came running all on a row : 

All making obeysance to bold Robin Hood ; 

'Twas a comely sight for to see. 50 

What is the matter", master, said Little John, 

That you blow so hastily 1 



" here is the bishop of Hei-eford, 

And no pardon we shall have." 
Cut off his head, master, said Little John, 

And throw him into his grave. 

pardon, pardon, said the bishop, 

O pardon 1 thee pi*ay ; 
For if I had kno\vn it had been you, 

I'd have gone some other way. 

No pardon, no pardon, said bold Robin Hood, 

No pardon I thee owe ; 
Therefore make haste, and come along with me, 

For to merry Barnsdale you shall go. 

Then Robin he took the bishop by the hand, 65 

And led him to merry Barnsdale ; 
He made him to stay and sup with him that night, 

And to drink wine, beer, and ale. 

Call in a reckoning, said the bishop. 

For raethinks it grows wond'rous high. 70 

Lend me your purse, master, said Little John, 

And I'll tell you bye and bye. 

Then Little John took the bishop's cloak, 

And spread it upon the ground. 
And out of the bishop's portmantua 75 

He told three hundred pound. 

Here's money enough, master, said Little John, 

And a comely sight 'tis to see ; 
It makes me in charity with the iDishop, 

Tho' he heartily loveth not me. 80 

Robin Hood took the bishop by the hand, 

And he caused the music to play ; 
And he made the [old] bishop to dance in liis boots, 

And glad he could so get away. 











This ballad, from the York edition of " Robin Hoods 
garland," is probably one of the oldest extant of which he 
is the subject. In the more common editions is a modern- 
ised copy, in which the " silly old woman" is converted in 
" a gay lady;" but even this is more ancient than many 
of the pieces here inserted, and is intitled by its merit to 
a place in the appendix. 

There are twelve months in all the year, 

As I hear many say. 
But the merriest month in all the year 

Is the merry month of May. 

Now Robin Hood is to Nottingham gone, 5 

With a link a down, and a day, 
And there he met a silly ^^ old woman. 

Was weeping on the way. 

" What news ? what news ? thou silly old woman, 
What news hast thou for me ?" 10 

Saidshe, There's three squires in Nottingham town, 
To-day ' are' condemned to die. 

Oh, have they parishes burnt ? he said, 

Or have they ministers slain. 
Or have they robbed any virgin. 

Or with other men's wives have lain ? 

" They have no parishes burnt, good sir. 

Nor yet have ministers slain. 
Nor have they robbed any virgin. 

Nor with other men's wives have lain.'" 

Oh, what have they done ? said Robin Hood, 

I pray thee tell to me. 
" It's for slaying of the king's fallow deer, 

Bearing their long bows with thee." 

Dost thou not mind, old woman, he said, 25 

Since thou made me sup and dine ? 
By the truth of my body, quoth bold Robin Hood, 

You could not tell it in better time. 

Now Robin Hood is to Nottingham gone. 

With a link, a down, and a ' day,' 30 

And there he met with a silly old palmer^, 
Was walking along the highway. 

" What news ? what news ? thou silly old man, 

What news, I do thee pray?" 
Said he, Three squires in Nottingham town, 35 

Are condemn'd to die this day. 

" Come change thy apparel with me, old man. 
Come change thy apparel for mine ; 

Here is forty shillings in good silver, 

Go drink it in beer or wine. " 40 



Various Readings.— F. 12. is. V. 30. down a. 

k This word is here used in a good sense, and does not 
mean that the woman was foolish. Its tnie meaning may 
be best gathered from its application to holy men, who 
were by their nature unsuspicious ; it indicates a combi- 
nation of virtue and simplicity. See Skinner, Jamieson, 
and Richardson's Die— Ed. J See page 90. 




Oh, thine apjiarel is {ijood, he said, 

And mine is i-aj^ged and torn ; 
Whereever you go, wherever you ride, 

Laugh ne'er an o'ld man to scorn. 

" Come change thy apparel with me, old churl, 1') 
Come change thy apparel with mine ; 

Here are twenty pieces of good broad gold, 
CfO feast thy brethren with wine." 

Then he put on the old man's hat. 

It stood full high on the crown : 50 

" The fii-st bold bargain that I come at. 

It shall make thee come down." 

Then he put on the old man's cloak, 

Was patch'd black, blew, and red ; 
He thought it no shame, all the day long, Z') 

To wear the bags of bread. 

Then he put on the old man's breeks, 

Was patch'd from ballup '" to side : 
By the truth of my body, bold Robin can say. 

This man lov'd little pi-ide. 60 

Theu he put on the old man's hose. 
Were patch'd from knee to wrist '• : 

By the truth of my body, said bold Robin Hood, 
I'd laugh if I had any list. 

Then he put on the old man's shoes, 65 

Were patch'd both beneath and aboon ; 

Then Robin Hood swore a solemn oath. 
It's good habit that makes a man. 

Now Robin Hood is to Nottingham gone, 

With a link a down and a down, 70 

And there he met with the proud sheriff, 
Was walking along the town. 

Oh ' Christ you ' save, oh, sheriff, he said, 

Oh ' Christ you save and see" ;' 
And what will you give to a silly old man 75 

To-day will your hangman be ? 

Some suits, some suits, the sheriff he said. 

Some suits I'll give to thee ; 
Some suits, some suits, and pence thirteen, 

To-day's a hangman's fee. 

Then Robin he turns him round about, 
And jumps from stock to stone : 

By the truth of my body, the shoriffe he said, 
That's well jumpt, thou nixible old man. 

I was ne'er a hangman in all my life, 

Nor yet intends to trade : 
But cui'st be he, said Ixjld llobni, 

That first a hangman was made. 

VAntous Rkadinos.— FT. 73, 74. 

Oh save, oh save, oh sheriff he Haid, 
Oh save and you may sec. 



•" Fh»i). 
■> This Bubstitution of tho wrist fur the ancio is quito 
UleRitiinato, and is used solely for tho rhyme. Tho 
Is that joint which wrests or twints, i.e. tlic jimction nl 
tho hand iiud arm, and the term is inapplicable to any 
other.— Eo. 

" Iteg:ird, protect. 

I've a bag for meal, and a bag for malt, 

And a bag for barley and corn ; 9^> 

A bag for bread, and a bag for beef, 
And a bag for my little small horn. 

I have a horn in my pocket, 

I got it from Robin Hood, 
And still when I set it to my mouth, Oj 

For ' thee' it blows little good. 

" Oh, whid thy hoi*n, thou proud fellow, 

Of thee I have no doubt : 
I wish that tliou give such a blast. 

Till both thy eyes fall out." 100 

The first loud blast that he did blow, 

He blew both loud and shrill ; 
A hundred and fifty of Robin Hood's men 

Came riding over the hill. 

The next loud blast that he did give, ICi 

He blew both loud and amain. 
And quickly sixty of Robin Hood's men 

Came shining over the plain. 

Oh, who are * those,' the sheriff he said, 

Come trippmg over the lee ? 110 

They're my attendants, brave Robin did say, 
They'll pay a visit to thee. 

They took the gallows from the slack p. 

They set it in the glen i. 
They hang'd the proud sheriff on that, 

Releas'd their own three men. 



This ballad, which has never been inserted in any of the 
publications intitled " Robin Hood's garland," (and, per- 
haps, was not worth inserting here,) is given from an old 
black letter copy in the collection of Anthony h. Wood. 
Its full title is, " A famous battle between Robin Hood and 
maid Marian ; declaring their love, life, imd liberty. 
Tune, Robin Hood reviv'd." 

A noNNV fine maid of a noble degree, 

JVil/i a hey (fown, down, a down, dotcn, 

Mix'id Marian call'd by name. 
Did live in the North, of excellent worth, 

For shee was a gallant dame. 

For favour and face, and beauty most rare, 

Queen Ilellen shee did excell : 
For ^larian then was prais'd of all men. 

That did in the country dwell. 

'Twas neither Rosainond nor Jane Shore, 
Whose beauty was clear and bright. 

That could surpass this counti'y lass. 
Beloved of lord and knight. 

Various Readino.— K. !)(). mo. 

P Low ground. 

1 Valley. 




The earl of Huntiugton, nobly born, 

That came of noble blood. 
To Marian went, with a good intent, 15 

By the name of Robin Hood. 

With kisses sweet their red lips did meet, 

For she and the earl did agree ; 
In every place, they kindly embrace. 

With love and sweet unity. 20 

But fortune bearing these lovers a spight, 
That soon they were forced to part : 

To the merry green wood then went Robin Hood, 
With a sad and sorrowful! heart. 

And Mai'ian, poor soul, was troubled in mind, 25 

For the absence of her friend ; 
With finger in eye, shee often did cry, 

And his person did much comend. 

Perplexed and vexed, and troubled in mind, 
Shee drest herself like a page, 30 

And ranged the wood, to find Robin Hood, 
The bravest of men in that age. 

With quiver and bow, sword, buckler, and all. 
Thus armed was Marian most bold. 

Still wandering about, to find Robin out, 35 

Whose pei'son was better then gold. 

But Robin Hood, hee himself had disguis'd. 

And Marian was strangly attir'd, 
That they prov'd foes, and so fell to bloweS, 

Whose vallour bold Robin admir'd. 40 

They drew out their swords, and to cutting they 
At least an hour or more, [went, 

Tliat the blood ran apace from bold Robins face, 
And Marian was wounded sore. 

hold thy hand, hold thy hand, said Robin Hood, 
And thou shalt be one of my string, 46 

To range in the wood, Avith bold Robin Hood, 
To hear the sweet nightingall sing. 

When Marian did hear the voice of her love, 
Her self shee did quickly discover, 50 

And with kisses sweet she did hira greet. 
Like to a most loyall lover. 

When bold Robin Hood his Marian did see, 
Good lord, what clipping was there ! 

With kind embraces, and jobbing ^ of faces, 55 
Providing of gallant cheer. 

For Little John took his bow in his hand. 

And * wandred' in the wood. 
To kill the deer-, and make good chear. 

For Marian and Robin Hood. GO 

A stately banquet * they' had full soon, 

All in a shaded bower. 
Where venison sweet they had to eat. 

And were merry that present hour. 

Various Reading. — V. o8. wandring 

r To ^'o&j is literally to strike ("to pecke and Jo& with 
their 'beaks."— Holland. " Pecking and jobbing at the 
fruit." — North,) a usage still common in vulgar speech. — 
Richardson's Die. Here we may interpret it as " billing 
and cooing."— Ed. 

Great flaggons of wine were set on the board, 65 

And merrily they drunk round 
Their boules of sack, to strengthen the back, 

Whilst their knees did touch the ground. 

First Robin Hood began a health 

To Marian his onely dear ; 70 

And his yeomen all, both comly and tall, 

Did quickly bring up the rear : 

For in a brave venie ^ they tost off the bouls. 

Whilst thus they did remain ; 
And every cup, as they drunk up. 

They filled with speed again. 

At last they ended their merryment. 

And went to walk in the wood. 
Where little John, and maid Marian, 

Attended on bold Robin Hood. 

In soUid content together they liv'd. 

With all their yeomen gay ; 
They liv'd by * their' hands, without any lands, 

And so they did many a day. 

But now to conclude an end I will make. 

In time as I think it good ; 
For the people that dwell in the North can tell 

Of Marian and bold Robin Hood. 




from the common collection of Alderraary-church-yard, 
seems to be taken from the old legend in part I. page 59 ; 
and to have been A^Titten by some miserable retainer to 
the press, merely to eke out the book ; being, in fact, a 
most contemptible performance. 

The two concluding lines (the same with those of the 
next ballad) refer to song XXVII. Avhieh they have once 
immediately preceded. 

King Richard hearing of the pranks 

Of Robin Hood and his men. 
He much admir'd, and more desired 

To see both liim and them. 

Then with a dozen of his lords, 5 

To Nottingham he rode ; 
When he came there, he made good cheer, 

And took up his abode. 

He having staid there some time, 

But had no hopes to speed, 10 

He and his lords, with one accord. 

Ail put on monk's weeds. 

From Fountain-abbey they did ride, 

Down to Barnsdale ; 
Where Robin Hood prepared stood 15 

All company to assail. 

The king was higher than the rest. 

And Robin thought he had 
An abbot been whom he had ceen, | 

To rob him he was glad. 20 ] 

s Brave venie, merry vein, jovial humour. 1 





He took the king's hoi-se by the liead, 

Abbot, says ho, abide ; 
I am bound to rue such knaves as you, 

That live iu pomp and pride. 

But we are messengers from the kini,', 

The king himself did say ; 
Near to this place his royal grace 

To speak with thee does stay. 

God siive the king, said Robin Hood, 

And all that wish him well ; 
He that does deny his sovereignty, 

I VNish he was in hell. 

Thyself thou cursedst, says the king, 

For thou a traitor art. 
" Nay, but tliat you are his messenger, 

I swear you lie in heart. 

For I never yet hurt any man 

That honest is and true ; 
But those who give their minds to live 

Upon other mens due. 

I never hurt the ' husbandmen,' 

That use to till the ground : 
Nor spill their blood who range the wood, 

To follow hawk or hound. 





My chiefest spite to clergy is, 

Who in these days bear great sway ; 

With fryars and monks, with theii* fine sprunks 
I make my chiefest pi'ey." 

But I am vei'y glad, says Robin Hood, 

That I have met you liere ; 
Come, befoi'e we end, you shall, my friend, 

Taste of our gx'een-wood cheer. 

The king he then did marvel much, 

And so did all his men ; 
They thought with fear, what kind of cheer, 55 

Robin would provide for them. 

Robin took the king's horse by the head 

And led him to his tent : 
Thou wouldst not be so us'd, quoth he, 

But that my king thee sent. 


Nay, more than that, quoth Robin Hood, 

For good king Richard's sake, 
If you had as much gold ;is ever I told, 

1 would not one penny take. 

Then Robin set his horn to his mouth 

And a loud blast he did blow, 
'Till a hundred and ten of Roliin Hood's men, 

Came marching all of a i*ow. 

And when they came bold Robin before, 
Each man did bend his knee : 

So then they all to dinner went, 

Upon a carpet green ; 
Black, yellow, red, finely mingled, 

Most curious to be seen. 80 

Venison and fowls were plenty there, 

With fish out of the river : 
King Richard swore, on sea or shore, 

He never was feasted better. 

Then Robin takes a cann of ale : 85 

" Come, let us now begui ; 
And every man shall have his cann : 

Here's a health unto the king." 

The king himself drank to the king, 

So round about it went ; *J0 

Two barrels of ale, both stout and stale, 

To pledge that health was spent. 

And, after that, a hn^vl of wine 

In his hand took Robin Hood ; 
Until I die, I'll drmk wine, said' he, S5 

While I live in the green wood. 

Bend all your bows, said Robin Hood, 

And with the grey goose -wing. 
Such sport now show, as you would do 

In the presenee of the king. 100 

They shewed such brave archery. 

By cleaving sticks and wands, 
That the kuig did say, such men as they 

Live not in many lands. 

Well, Robin Hood, then says the Icing, 1.05 

If I could thy pardon get. 
To serve the king in every thing 

Would'st thou thy mind firm set ? 

Yes, < with all ' my heart, bold Robin said, 

So they flung off then* hoods, 110 

To serve the king in every thing, 

They swore they would spend their ' bloods.' 

For a clergyman was fii-st my bane, 

Which makes me hate them all, 
But if you will be so kind to me, 115 

Love them again I shall. 

The king no longer could forbear. 
For lie was mov'd with ' rath ".' 

* * • * * 

I " I am the king, ' your ' sovereign king. 

That appears before you all." 120 

When Robin saw that it was he. 
Strait then he down did fall. 

Stand up again, then said the king, 
70 ' I'll thee thy pardon give ; 

(), thought the king, 'tis a gallant thing, 
! And a seemly sight to see. 

Within himself the king did say. 

These men of Robin Hood's 
More huml)le ))e than mine to mc ; 75 

So the court may learn of the woods. 

Stand up my friend, who can contend, 
When I give leave to live i 

So they arc all gone to Nottingham, 
All shouting as they came : 

But when the people them did see. 
They thought the king was slain ; 

u Pity, compassion. 






And for that cause the outlaws were come, 

To rule all as they list ; 
And for to shun, which ' way' to run, 

The people did not wist. 

The plowman left the plow in the fields, 1 35 

The smith ran from his shop ; 
Old folks also, that scarce could go, 

Over their sticks did hop. 

The king soon did let them understand 

He had been in the green-wood, 140 

And from that day, for evermore, 
He'd forgiven Robin Hood. 

Then [when] the people they did hear. 

And [that] the truth was known. 
They all did sing, God save the king ! 145 

Hang care, the town's our own ! 

What's that Robin Hood ? then said the sheriff. 

That varlet I do hate ; 
Both me and mine he caused to dine. 

And serv'd us all with one plate. 150 

Ho, ho, said Robin Hood, I know v/hat you mean. 

Come, take your gold again ; 
Be friends with me, and I with thee. 

And so with every man. 

Now, master sheriff, you are paid, lOo 

And since you are beginner, 
As well as you give me my due, 

For you ne'er paid for that dinner. 

But if ^ that it' should please the king, 

So much your house to grace, 1 60 

To sup with you, for, to speak true, 
[I] know you ne'er was base. 

The shei'iff [this] could not gainsay, 

For a trick was put upon him ; 
A supper was drest, the king was a guest, 165 

But he thought 'twould have outdone ^ him. 

They are all gone to London court, 
Robin Hood, with all his train ; 

He once was there a noble peer. 
And now he's there again. 

Many such pranks brave Robin play'd, 
While he liv'd in the green wood : 

Now, my friend, attend, and hear an end 
Of honest Robin Hood. 



A composition of a similar nature 
and from the same authority. 

with the preceding 

When as the sheriff of Nottingham 
Was come with mickle grief. 

He talk'd no good of Robin Hood, 
That strong and sturdy thief. 
Fal la dal de. 

^ Undone. 


So unto London road he past, 5 

His losses to unfold 
To king Richard, who did regard 

The tale that he had told. 

Why, quoth the king, Avhat shall I do ? 

Art thou not sheriff for me ? 10 

The law is in force, to take thy course 

Of them that injure thee. 

Go get thee gone, and by thyself 

Devise some tricking game. 
For to enthral yon rebels all, 15 

Go take thy course with them. 

So away the sheriff he return' d. 

And by the way he thought 
Of th' words of the king, and how the thing 

To pass might well be brought. 20 

For within his mind he imagined, 

That when such matches were. 
Those outlaws stout, without all doubt. 

Would be the bowmen thex'e. 

So an arrow with a golden head, 25 

! And shaft of silver- white. 

Who on the day should bear away 
'' For his own proper right. 

Tidings came to bold Robin Hood, 
1 Under the green-wood tree : 30 

I " Come prepare you then, my merry men, 
We'll go yon sport to see." 

I With that stept forth a brave young man, 
I David of Doncastei', 
Mastei', said he, be rul'd by me, 'M 

Fi'om the green wood we'll not stir. 

To tell the truth, I'm well informed, 

Yon match it is a wile ; 
The sheriff, I wiss, devises this 

Us archers to beguile. 40 

Thou smells of a coward, said Robin Hood, 

Thy words do not please me ; 
Come on't what will, I'll ti'y my skill. 

At yon brave archery. 

then bespoke brave Little John, 45 

Come let us thither gang ; 
Come listen to me, how it shall be, 

That we need not be ken'd. 

Our mantles all of Lincoln-green 

Behind us we Avill leave ; 50 

We'll dress us all so several, 

They shall not us perceive. 

One shall wear white, another red. 

One yellow, another blue ; 
Thus in disguise, ' to ' the exercise 55 

We'll gang, whatever insue. 

Forth from the green wood they are gone. 

With hearts all firm and stout, 
Resolvmg [then] with the sheriff's men 

To have a hearty bout. 60 




So themselves they mixed with tlic rest, 

To prevent all suspicion ; 
For if they should together liold 

They thought it no discretion. 

So the sheriff looking round about, 

Amongst eight hundred men, 
But could not see the sight that he, 

Had long suspected then. 

Some siiid, if Robin Hood was liere, 

And all his men to boot, 
Sure none of them could pass these men, 

So bravely they do shoot. 

Ay, quoth the shei'iff, and scratch'd his head, 
I thought he would have been here ; 

1 thought he would, but tho' he's bold, 
He dui'st not now appear. 

O that word griev'd Robin Hood to the heart, 

He vexed in his blood ; 
Ere long, thought he, thou shalt well see 

That here was Robin Hood. oO 

Some cried, Blue jacket ! another cried, Brown ! 

And a third cried, Bi-ave yellow ! 
But the fourth man said, Yon man in red 

In this i^lace has no fellow. 

For that was Robin Hood himself, 85 

For he was cloath'd in red ; 
Ar every shot the prize he got, 

For he was both sure and dead. 

So the aiTOw with the golden head, 

And shaft of silvei'-white, 90 

Brave Robin Hood won, and bore witli him, 

For his own proper right. 

These outlaws there, that very day, 

i'o shun all kinds of doubt, 
By three or four, no less nor more, 95 

'As they went in came out. 

Until they all assembled were 

Under the gi'een-wood shade, 
Where they ' report,' in pleasant sport. 

What brave pastime they made. 100 

Sr.ys Robin Hood, all my care is, 

How that yon sheriff may 
Know certainly that it was I 

That boi'c his arrow awa}'. 

Says Little John, My counsel good 105 

bid take effect before. 
So therefore now, if you'll allow, 
j 1 will advise once more. 

I Speak on, speak on, said Robin Hood, 

Thy wit's both fjuick and sound, ] ] Q 

* * * * * 

j * * * * * 

I This I advise, said liittls John, 
' That a letter shall be peiin'd, 

' And when it is done, to Nottingham 
You to the sheriff shall send. 

That is well advised, said Robin Hood, 

Bu.t how must it be sent ? 
" Pugh ! wlien you please, 'tis done with case 

Master, be you content. 

I'll stick it on my aiTow's head, 

And shoot it into the town ; 
The mark must show where it must go, 

Whenever it lights dowii." 

The project it was well perform'd, 

■ The sheriff that letter had. 
Which when he read, he sci'atch'd hi 
And i*av'd like one that's mad. 


So we'll leave him chafing in * his 
Which will do him no good : 
/ o Now, my friends, attend, and hear th 
Of honest Robin Hood. 




" Together with an account of his death and bmial, 
&c. Tunc of Robin Ilnod and the fifteen foresters." From 
the common garhmd of AUlermai y-churcli-yard ; cor- 
rected by the York copy. 

When Robin Hood, and his merry men all, 
Derry doion, down, 
Had reigned many years, 
The king was then told that they had been bold 
To his bishops and noble peei-s. 

Ilet/ doioRj derry, derry down. 

Therefore they called a council of state, 5 

To know what was best to be done. 
For to quell their pride, or else they reply 'd 

The land would be over-run. 

Having consulted a whole summer's day. 

At length it was agreed, 1 

That one .should be sent to try the event, 
And fetch him away with speed. 

Therefore a trusty and most worthy knigiit 

The king was pleased to call, 
Sir William by name ; when to him h.e came, ] o 

He told him his pleasure all. 

" Go you from hence to bold Robin Hood, 

And bid him, without more ado. 
Surrender himself, or else the proud elf 

Shall suffer with all liis crew. 20 

Take here a hundred bowmen brave, 

All chosen men of great might, 
Of excellent art to take thy part, 

In glittering armour most bright." 

Then said the knight, My sovereign liege, 25 

By me they shall be led ; 
I'll venture my blood against bold Robin Hood 

And bring him alive or dead. 




One hundi-ed men were chosen straight, 

As proper as e'er men saw : 30 

On Midsummer- day they marched away, 
To conquer that brave outlaw. 

With long yew bows, and shining spears, 

They march'd with mickle pride, 
And never delay'd, nor halted, nor stay'd 35 

'Till they carae to the green-wood side. 

Said he to his archers, TaiTy here, 

Your bows make ready all, 
Tiiat if need should be, you may follow me, 

And see you observe my call. 40 

I'll go first in person, he cry'd. 

With the letters of my good king. 
Well sign'd and seal'd, and if he will yield. 

We need not to draw one string. 

He wandoi*'d about till at length he came 45 

To the tent of Robin Hood ; 
The letter he shows ; bold Robin arose, 

And there on his guard he stood. 

They'd have me surrender, quoth bold Robin Hood, 
And lie at their mercy then ; 50 

But tell them from me, that never shall be, 
While I have full seven score men. 

Si).- William the knight, both hardy and bold. 

He offer'd to seize him there. 
Which William Locksley by fortune did see, 55 

And bid him that trick to forbear. 

Then Robin Hood set his horn to his mouth. 

And blew a blast or twain. 
And so did the Icnight, at which there in sight 

The archers came all amain. 60 

Sir William with care he drew up his men, 

And plac'd them in battle array ; 
Bold Robin, we find, he was not behind : 

Jvow this was a bloody fi'ay. 

Tlie archers on both sides bent their bows, 65 

And the clouds of arrows flew ; 
The very first flight that honour'd knight 

Did there bid the world adieu. 

Yet nevertheless their fight did last 

From morning till almost noon ; "0 

Both parties were stout and loth to give out. 

This was on the last day of June. 

At length they left off : one party they went 

To London with right good will ; 
And Robin Hood he to the green- wood tree, 75 

And there he was taken ill. 

He sent for a monk, to let him blood, 

Who took his life away : 
Now this being done, his archers they I'un, 

It was not a time to stay. 80 

Some got on board, and cross'd the seas, 

To Flanders, France, and Spain, 
And others to Rome, for fear of their doonij 

But soon return'd again. 


" Shewing how he was taken ill, and how he went to his 
cousin at Kirkley-hall, who let him blood, which was the 
cause of his death. Tune of Robin Hoods last /arewel, 
&c." ' .. , 

This very old and curious piece is preserved solely in 
the editions of " Robin Hood's garland," printed at Yorlc, 
where it is made to conclude with some foolish lines, 
(adopted from the London copy of the preceding ballad,) 
in order to introduce the epitaph. It is here given from a 
collation of two different copies, containing numerous 
vai-iations, a few of Avhich are retained in the marsin. 

When Robin Hood and Little John, 

Doivn a down, a down, a doicn, 
Went o'er yon bank of broom. 
Said Robin Hood to Little John, 
We have shot for many a pound : 

Heij down, a doion, a down. 

But I am not able to shoot one shot more, 

My arrows will not flee ; 
But I have a cousin lives down below. 

Please god, she will bleed me. 

Now Robin is to fair Kii-kley gone, 

As fast as he can win ; 
But before he came there, as we do hear, 

He was taken very ill. 


And when that he came to fair Ivirkley-hall, 

He knock'd all at the ring. 
But none was so ready as his cousin herself 15 

For to let bold Robin in. 

Will you please to sit down, cousin Robm, she said, 

And drink some beer with me ? 
" No, I will neither eat nor drink, 

Till I am blooded by thee." 2C' 

Well, I have a room, cousin Robin, she said. 

Which you did never see. 
And if 3'ou please to walk therein. 

You blooded by me shall be. 

Slie took him by the lilly-white hand, 25 

And let him to a private room, 
And there she blooded bold Robin Hood, 

Whilst one drop of blood would run. 

She blooded him in the vein of the arm. 

And locked him up in the room ; 30 

There did he bleed all the live-long day, 
Untill the next day at noon. 

He then bethought him of a casement door, 
j Thinking for to be gone, 

I He was so weak he could not leap, 35 

i Nor he could not get down. 

He then bethought him of his bugle-horn. 

Which hung low down to his knee. 
He set his horn unto his mouth. 

And blew out weak blasts three. 40 

Various Rkadings.— F. 20. Till I blood letted be, 
V. 24. You blood shall letted be. 
r. 34. get down. 




Then Littlo Jolin, when licaring him, 

As he sat under the tree, 
*' I fear my master is near dead, j 

He blows so wearily." t 

Tlieii Little John to fair Kirkley is gone, 45 { 

As fast as he can dree ; I 

But when he came to Kirkley-hall, I 
He broke locks two or three : 

Untill he came bold Robin to, j 

Then he fell on his knee ; 50 

A boon, a boon, cries Little John, 
Master, I beg of thee. 

What is that boon, quoth Robin Hood, 

Little .John, thou begs of me ? 
^' It is to burn fair Kirkley-hall, 55 

And all their nunnery." 

Now nay, now nay, quoth Robin Hood, 

That boon I'll not grant thee ; 
I never *hurt' woman in all my life. 

Nor man in woman's company. GO 

Various Reading.— F. 59. burnt. This stanza is 
omitted in one edition. 

I never hurt fair maid in all my time, 

Nor at my end shall it be ; 
But give me my bent bow in my hand, 

And a broad arrow I'll let flee ; 
And where this arrow is taken up. Go 

There shall my grave digg'd be. 

Lay me a green sod under my head, 

And another at my feet ; 
And lay my bent bow by my side, 

Which was my music sweet ; 70 

And make my grave of gravel and green, 

Which is most right and meet. 

Let me have length and breadth enough, 

With a green sod under my head ; 
That they may say, when I am dead, 75 

Here lies bold Robin Hood. 

These words they I'eadily promis'd him, 

Which did bold Robin please : 
And there they buried bold Robin Hood, 

Near to the'fair Kii-klevs. 80 

YAr.ious Readings.— FF. 67, 6i?.— 

With verdant sods most neatly put, 
Sweet as the green wood tree. 




s printed by Copland at the end of his edition of the 
*' mery geste," (tc. p. 3.5. It seems to be composed, cer- 
tainly with little improvement, partly from the ballad of 
'Robin Hood and the curtail frier," (see before, p. 81.) 
or rather, perhaps, some still older piece on the same 
subject, and partly from the ancient poem of " Robin 
Hood and the potter" (see p. 54). The whole title runs— 
•• Here beginncthe the playc of Robyn Iloode, very proper 
to be played in Maye games." It has here received a few 
corrections from Whites edition, 1G34. 


Now stand ye forth, my mery men all. 

And harke what I shall .say ; 

Of an adventure I sluil you tell. 

The which bi^fell this other day. 

As I went by the hygh way, c 

With a stout frere I met, 

And a quarter-sUiffe in his hando, 

Lyghtely to me he lept. 

And Htyll he bade me stande ; 

There were strypc's two <ir three, 10 

But 1 cannot tell who liail the worse, 

But well I wote the horeson lept within me, 

And fro nio he toke my purse. 

Is th(;re any of my mery men all, 

That to that frere wyll go, 15 

And bryng him to me forth withall. 

Whether he wyll or no 1 


Yes, maystor, I make god avowe. 
To that frere wyll I go. 
And bring him to you. 
Whether he wyl or no. 


Deus hie, deits hie, god be here ! 

Is not this a holy worde for a frere i 

God save all this company ! 

But am not I a jolly tryer ? 

For I can shote both faiTc and nerc, 

And handle the sworde and buckljt^r. 

And this quarter-staffe also. 

If I mete with a gentylman or yeman, 

1 am not afrayde to loke hym upon. 

Nor boldly with him to carpe ; 

If he speake any wordes to me, 

He shall have strypcs two or thre. 

That shal make his body smarte. 

But, maisters, to shew you the matter, 

Wherfore and why I am come hither. 

In fayth I wyl not spare : 

I am come to soke a good yeman, 

In Bernisdale men sai is his habitacion, 

His name is Robyn Hode. 

And if that he be better man than I, 

His servaunt wyll I be, and serve him trucly 

But if that 1 be better man than he. 

By my truth my knave shall he be. 

And leade these dogges all three. 

Varioiis Rkadino.— F. .V. maistcr. C. 








i Yelde the, fryer, in thy long cote. 


I beshrew thy hart, knave, thou hurtest my throt. 


I trowe, fryer, thou beghinest to dote ; 

Who made the so malapert and so bolde. 

To come uato this forest here, 50 

Amonge my falowe dere ? 


Go louse the, ragged knave. 

If thou make mani wordes, I will geve the on the 

Though I be but a poore fryei\ [eare, 

I To seke Robyn Hode I am com here, 55 

^ And to him my hart to breke. 


Thou lousy frer, what wouldest thou with hym ? 
He never loved fryex', nor none of freiei'S kyn. 


Avaunt, ye ragged knave ! 

Or ye shall have on the skynne. 



Of all the men in the morning thou art the worst, 
To mete with the I have no lust ; 
For he that meteth a frere or a fox in the morning, 
To spede ill that day he standeth in jeoperdy : 
Therfore I had lever mete with the devil of hell, 65 
Fryer, I tell the as I thinke. 
Then mete with a fryer or a fox 
In a mornyng, or I drynk. 


Avaunt, thou ragged knave, this is but a mock, 
i If thou make mani words thou shal have a knock. 7 


Harke, frere, what I say here. 
Over this water thou shalt me here, 
The brydge is borne away. 


To say naye I wyll not. 

To let the of thine oth it were great pitie and sin, 75 

But up on a fryers backe, and have even in. 


Nay, have over. 


Now am I, frere, within, and thou, Robin, without. 
To lay the here I have no great doubt. 
No w art thou, Robyn, without, and I, frere,within, 80 
Lye ther, knave ; chose whetlier thou wilte sinke 
or swym. 


Why, thou lowsy frere, v.'hat hast thou done ? 


Mary, set a knave over the shone. 


Therfore thou dialt abye. 

VAnrous Readings.— r. 64. ell. C. V. 70. you. you. (7, 
V. 82. donee. C. 


Why, wylt thou fyght a plucke ? 85 


And god send me good lucke. 


Than have a stroke for fryer Tucke. 


Holde thy hande, frere, and here me speke. 


Say on, ragged knave. 

Me semeth ye begyn to swete. 90 


In this forest I have a hounde, 

I wyl not give him for an hundreth pound, 

Geve me leve my home to blowe, 

That my hounde may knowe. 


Blowe on, ragged knave, without any doubte, 95 

Untyll bothe thyne eyes starte out. 

Here be a sorte of ragged knaves come in, 

Clothed all in Kendale grene. 

And to the they take their way nowe. 


Peradventure they do so. 100 


I gave the leve to blowe at thy wyll. 
Now give me leve to whistell my fyll. 


Whystell, frere, evyl mote thou fare, 
Untyll bothe thyne eyes stare. 


Now Cut and Bause ! 1 05 

Breng forth the clubbes and staves, 
And downe with those ragged knaves ! 


How sayest thou, frere, wylt thou be my man. 

To do me the best servyse thou can 1 

Thou shalt have both golde and fee, 110 

And also here is a lady free, 

I wyll geve her unto the. 

And her chapplayn I the make, 

To serve her for my sake. 


Here is a huckle duckle, an inch above the 
buckle ; 115 

She is a trul of trust, to serve a frier at his lust, 
A prycker, a prauncer, a terer of shetes, 
A wagger of buttockes when other men slepes. 
Go home, ye knaves, and lay crabbes in the fyre. 
For my lady and I wil daunce in the myre, for 
veri pure joye. 120 

Various Readings.— F". 104. starte. C 
V. 116. A trul of trust was a common phrase. So in the 
ancient morality o/the iiii elements : {Sig. E. iij. 6.) 

" For to satisfye your tvanton lust 
I shall apoynt you a trull of trust, 
Not afeyrer in this towne." 

V, Jiy. shefes. C. F. li«. ballookes. C. 




ROin-N noDE. 
Lysten to [mo], my niory men all, 
And harke what 1 shall say ; 
Of an adventure I shall you tell, 
That befell this othej- Uaye. 

With a proude potter 1 met, 12.") 

And a iH)se garlande on his head"*. 
The floures of it shone marvaylous freshe ; 
This seven ycre and more he hath used this wayc, 
^'et was he never so cu'/teyse a potter, 
As one peny passage to paye. 1 30 

Is there any of my mery men all 
That diire be so bolde 
To make the potter paie passage, 
Either silver or golde 1 


Not I, master, for twenty pound redy toldc, 135 

For there is not among us al one 

That dare medle with that potter man for man. 

I felt his handes not long agone, 

But I had lever have ben here by the, 

Therfore I knowe what he is. 140 

Mete him when ye wil, or mete him whan ye shal, 

He is as propre a man as ever you medle withal. 


I will laiwith the, LitelJohn, twenti pound so read'^, 

If I wyth that potter mete, 

I vnl make him pay passage, maugre liis head . 145 


I consente tberto, so eate I bread, 

If he pay passage maugre liis liead, 

Twenti pound shall ye have of me for your mede. 


Out alas, that ever I sawe this daye ! 

For I am clene out of my waye 150 

From Notyngham towne ; 

Zf I hye me not the faster. 

Or I come there the mai'ket wel be done. 


Let me se, are thy pottes hole and sounde ? 


Yea, mcister, but they will not brcako the ground. 



T wil them broke, for the cuckold thi maisters sake ; 
And if they will not breake the grounde, 
Thou shalt have thre pence for a ])ound. 

Various Readinos. — V. 153. maryct. 
V. ]!>ti. not omitcdinW. 

V. IM. the. C. 

" How a potter comes to be docked with so clcpnnt and 
liononihlc a parland as oiio of ros(!s, is not oaHvly to he 
ziccountcd for. Tlic poet Ciower, jih represented on liis 
monument in the church of St. ]\Iary Ovcry, Imth, us 
Stow tells UB, "on his head a chaplet, like a coronet of 
four riiHes;" and it may be remembered that Copland, the 
l)rinter of tliis identical May-ffame, dwelled " at (ho signc 
I'l* the roBCRarlande." In "The pleasant history of Itcy- 
nard the fox," we find that the kiiip, hoinR cured by 
'• iiinster Iteynard," the fiither, of a grievous sickness, 
"ga\c him (fiu- an honour) a garland of roses, which lie 
must ever wear upon his head." 

" Jtcd, nlludini; to tlie olour of the gold. 


Out alas ! what have ye dune ? 

If my maister come, he will broke your crown. 160 


Why, thou horeson, art tliou here yet ? 
Thou .shouldest have bene at mai'ket. 


I met with Robin Hode, a good ycman. 

He hath broken my pottos, 

And called you kuckolde by your name. Ifi5 


Thou mayst be a gentylman, so god me save, 

But thou seraest a noughty knave. 

Thou callest me cuckolde by my )iame. 

And I swere by god and saynt John 

Wyfe had I never none. 170 

This cannot 1 denye, 

But if thou be a good felowe, 

I wil sel mi hoi'se, mi harneis, pottos and paniers to, 

Thou shalt have the one halfc and I will have the 

other ; 
If thou be not so content, 175 

Thou shalt have s'tripes if thou were my brother. 


Harke, potter, what I shall say : 

This seven yere and more thou hast used this way. 

Yet were thou never so curteous to me. 

As one penny passage to paye. 1 80 


Why should I paye passage to thee ? 


For I am Robyu Hode, chiefe governoure 
Under the grene woode tree. 


This seven yere have I used this way up and doA^Tie. 
Yet payed I passage to no man, 1 Hh 

Nor now I wyl not beginne, so do the worst thou 


Passage shalt thou jn\i here under the grene-wode 
Or els thou shalt love a wedde'^ with me. [tre, 


If thou be a good felowe, as men do the call, 
Lay awayo Ihy bowe, 190 

And take thy -ST^'onl and buckclcr in thy haude, 
And se what shall befall. 


Lyttlo John, whore art thou ? 


Hero, mayster, 1 make god avowe. 

I toldo you, mayster, so god me save, 

That you shoulde fynde tlic potter a knave. 

Holdo your buekelcr fast in your hande, 

And I wyll styHy by you stande, 

l^ady for to iyghte ; 

lie the knave never so stoute, 

I shall rappe him on the snoute. 

And i)ut hym to flyghtc. 




IH W. 

Rkadin«s.— K. 1«G. to do. C. 
V' 1H8. wedded. C. wed. W. 

to or so oniitcd 
V. 1%'. your. C. 

A pledge. 






This strange and whimsical performance is taken from 
a very rare and cm-ioiis publication, intitled "Deutero- 
melia: or the second part of miisiclcs melodic, or melo- 
diusmusicke. Of pleasant roundelaies ; K. H. mirth, or 
freemens songs. And such delightful! catches. London : 
printed for Thomas Adams dwelling in Panics church- 
yard at the signe of the white lion. 1609." 4to. Freemens 
songs is supposed to be a corruption of Three mens songs, 
from their being generally for three voices. K. H. is King 
Henrys. See " Ancient songs," 1790. p. Ivii. 159, &:c. 

In the collection of old printed ballads made by Anthony 
a Wood is an inaccurate copy of this ancient and singular 
production, in his own hand writing : " This song," says 
he, " was esteemed an old song before the rebellion broke 
out in 1641." It thereby appears that the first line of 
every stanza was " to be simg thrice." Beside the music 
here given, there are three parts of '•' Another way," which 
it was not thought necessary to insert. 


F ^ hi'.U i|i = |-|.ppp|- 

Y Lands-dale hey ho, by mery Lands-dale 


-^ » t « 

T-^ O 


there dwelt a jolly miller, And a very good old man 





•as hee, was he, hey ho He had, he had and a 

^-4^-4- 4 i T'" 


Bonne a. He had, he had and a sonne. 




'' <' - 6 

^ < ^ 4 -^~k>- 

Y Lands-dale hey ho, by mery Lands-dale heyho 





vvas ]ie hey ho. He had, he had and a sonne 









Y Landsdale hey ho, by mery Landsdale, hey ho 






•j|«Ther5 cUvelt a jolly miller, auj a very good < 


6— > — ^r- 

he, hey ho. He had, he had and a sonne a, he had 



ii. he had; he had 

He had, he had and a sonne a, 

Men called him Renold, 
And mickle of his might 

Was he, was he, hey ho. 

And from his father a wode a, 

His fortune for to seeke, 
From mery Landsdale 

Wode he, wode he, hey ho. 

His father would him seeke a, 
And found him fast asleepe. 

Among the leaves greene 
Was he, was he, hey ho. 

He toolce, he tooke him up a, 
All by the lilly-white hand. 

And set him on his feet. 
And bad him stand, hey ho. 

He gave to him a benbpw. 

Made all of a trusty tree. 
And arrowes in his hand. 

And bad him let them flee. 

And shoote was that that a did a. 

Some say he shot a mile. 
But halfe a mile and more 

Was it, was it, hey ho. 

And at the halfe miles end [a]. 
There stood an anned man ; 

The childe he shot him through, 
And through, and through, hey * he 

His beard was all on a white a. 

As white as whaleis bone. 
His eyes they were as cleare 

As christail stone, hey ho. 

And there of him they made [a], 
Good yeoman Robin Hood, 

Scarlet, and Little John, 
And Little John, hey ho. 





from " Pammelia. oMusicks miscellanie. Or, mixed 
varietie of pleasant rouiKlclaycs, luid delightful catches, 
of 3. 4. :>. G. 7- S. 9. 10. parts in one. None so ordinaric as 
mumcall, none so musical as not to all very jileaslng and 
Sicccptablc. London Printed by William Barley, for 
11. li. and II. W. and arc to be sold at the Spread Eagle at 
tlie great north dore of Paules. ICO.*)." 4to. a work equally 
scarce and curious with that before cited. This, however, 
is only the tenor part; but the words of the other pai-ts are 
vci-y trifling, and relate to different subjects. It is called 
' ' A round of three country dances in one." 

ROBIN Hood, Robin Hood, said Little John, 

♦ ♦ 




Come dance before the queene a : In a led petticntc 

ajid a greene jacket, a white hoseandagree ica H<.«i(p. 


These stanzas arc supplyed by " A musicall dreamc, or 
the fourth booke of ayres, &c. Composed by l^obert loncs. 
London, Imprinted by the assignees of William Barley, 
and are to be soldo in Powles church yeard, at the signe of 
the Cfowne. 1G09." fo. The music, a composition of little 
merit or curiosity for the present age, was not transcribed. 

In Sherwood livdc stout Robin Hood, 

An archei' great, none greater ; 
His bow and shafts were sure and good, 

Yet Cupids were much beter. 
Robin could shoot at many a hart and misse, 
Cupid at first could hit a hart of his. 

Hey jolly Robin, hoe jolly Robin, hey jolly 

Robin Hood, 
Love finds out me, as well as thee, to follow 
nice, to follow me to the gi'een wood. 

A n()l)l(' thiefe was Robin Hoode, 

Wiso was he could deceive him, 
\i't Mai'rian, in his ])ravest mood, 

Could of his heart bereave him. 
\n greater thief lies hidden under skies 
Tlien beauty closely lodgde in womens eyes. 
Hey jolly Robin. 

.\ii out-law was this Robin Hood, 

His life free and unruly, 
Yet to faire Mai*rian hound he stood, 

And loves del)t payed her duely. 
Whom curbo of stricktest law could not hold in 
Love with obeycdnes and a winkc could winne. 
Hey jolly Robin. 

Now wend we home, stout Robin Hood, 
Leave we th^' woods behind us ; 

Love-passions must not be withstood, 
Love every where will fiiid us. 

I livde in fielde and towne, and so did he, 

I got me to the woods. Love followed me. 
Hey Jolly Robin. 




Tliis old ballad, referred to in p 71 1 is given from a black 
letter copy in a private collection, compared with and 
very much corrected by " An antidote against melancholy: 
made up in pills, compounded of witty ballads, jovial 
songs, and merry catches. 1061. " Tlie running title of the 
volume is " Pills to purge melancholy;" which was after- 
ward borrowed by Durfey. 

There is a different, but probably much more modem, 
ballad upon this popular subject, in the same measure, 
intitled, " Arthur o' Bradley," and beginning, 
" All in the merry month of May." 

See you not Pierce the piper, 
His cheeks as big as a miter, 
A piping among the swains, 
That dance on yonder plains ? 
Where Tib and Tom do trip it, 
And youths to the hornpipe nip it, 
With every one his carriage, 
To go to yonder marriage ; 
Not one would stay behind, 
But go with Arthur of Bi-adley, 
Oh fine Arthur of Bradley, 
Oh fine Arthur of Bi'adley, 
Oh fine Arthur of Bradley oh, &c. 

Arthur had got him a lass, 

A bonnier never was ; 

The chief youths of the parish 

Came dancing of the morris ; 

With country lasses trouusing, 

And lusty lads bounsing. 

Jumping with mickle pride. 

And each his wench by his side ; 

'J^hey all were fine and gay. 

For the honour of Arthur of Bradley, 
Oh fine Arthur of Bradley, oh, &fc. 

And when that Arthur was married. 
And his bride home had carried, 
Tli(^ youngsters they did wait 
To helj) to carry uj) meat ; 
Francis carrii^d the furmety, 
Michael carried the mince-pye, 
Bartholomew the beef and the mustai'd, 
And Christopher can-ied the custard ; 
Thus every one in his array, 

For the honour of Arthur of Bradley, 
Oh fine Arthur of Bradley, oh, &c. 

And when that dinner was ended, 
The maidens they were befriended, 
I'or out steps Dick the di-aper. 
And he bid, Strike up, scraper 













It's best to be dancing a little, 
And then to the tavern to tipple : 
He call'd for a hornpipe, 
That went fine on the bagpipe ; 
Then forward, piper, and play. 

For the honour of Arthur of Bradley, 

Oh fine, &c. 

Richard he did lead it, 

And Margery did tread it, 

Francis followed them, 

And after courteous Jane ; 

Thus every one after another. 

As if they had been sister and brother ; 

That 'twas great joy to see 

How well they did agree ; 

And then they all did say, 

Hay for Arthur of Bradley ! 

Oh fine Arthiu' of Bradley, oh, &c. 

Then Miles in his motley breeches, 
And he the piper beseeches 
To play him Haw-thorn buds, 
That he and his wench might trudge ; 
But Lawrence hked not that, 
No more did lusty Kate ; 
For she ci'y'd, Can'st thou not hit it, 
To see how fine Thomas can trip it, 65 

For the honour of Arthur of Bradley, &c. 

When all the swains did see 

This mirth and merry glee. 

There was never a man did flinch. 

But each one kist his wench ; 

But Giles was greedy of gain, 

For he would needs kiss twain : 

Her lover seeing that. 

Did rap him over the pate, 

That he had nought to say. 

For the honour of Arthur of Bradley, 
Oh fine Arthur of Bradley, oh, &c. 





The piper lookt aside. 

And there he spied the bride, 

He thought it was a hard chance. 

That none would lead her a dance ; 

But there was none durst touch her, 

Save only Bat the Butcher ; 

He took her by the hand, 

And danced while he could stand : 

The bride was fine and gay. 

For the honour of Arthur of Bradley, 
Oh fine Arthur of Bradley, oh, &c. 

Then out stept Will the weaver. 

And he swore he'd not leave her. 

He hopp'd it all on one leg. 

For the honour of his Peg : 

But Kister in cambrick ruffe. 

He took that all in snuffe ; 

For he against that day 

Had made himself fine and gay. 

His ruffe was whipt with blew, 

And he cried, A new dance, a new ! 

Then strike up a round-delay. 

For the honour of Arthur of Bradley, 100 

Oh fine, &c. 

Then gan the sun decline, 
And every one thought it time 



To go unto his home. 

And leave the bridegroom alone. 105 

Tut, tut, says lusty Ned, 

He see them both m bed 

For i'le gib at a joynt, 

But i'le have Ms codpiss-point : 

Then forward piper and play, 110 

For the honour of Arthur of Bradley, 

Oh fine, &c. 

And thus the day was spent, 

And no man homeward went. 

There was such a crowding and thrusting, 115 

That some were in danger of bursting, 

To see them go to bed ; 

For all the skill they had. 

He was got to his bride. 

And lay close to her side : 120 

Then got they his points and his garters, 

And cut them in pieces like martyrs ; 

And then they all did play 

For the honour of Arthur of Bradley, 

Oh fine, &c. " 125 

Then Will and his sweetheart 

Did call for Loth to depart ; 

And then they did foot it, and toss it, 

'Till the cook brought in the sack-posset. 

The bride-pye Avas brought forth, 130 

A thing of mickle worth : 

And so all at the beds side 

Took leave of Arthur and his bride. 

And so v/ent all away 

From the wedding of Arthur of Bradley, 135 

Oh fine, &c. 





This song, and its tune, as the editor is informed by hie 
ingenious friend Edward Williams, the Welsh bard, are 
well known in South Wales, by the name of Marchog 
glas, i, e- Green knight. Though apparently ancient, it is 
not known to exist in black letter, nor has any better 
authority been met with than the common collection of 
Aldermary-church-yard. See before, p. 99. 

Bold Robin Hood ranging the forrest all round. 
The forrest all round ranged he ; 

there did he meet with a gay lady, 
She came weeping along the highway. 

Why weep you, why weep you ? bold Robin he said 

What weep you for gold or fee ? 
Or do you weep for your maidenhead. 

That is taken from your body ? 

1 Aveep not for gold, the lady reply'd, 
Neither do I weep for fee ; 

Nor do I weep for my maidenhead. 
That is taken from my body. 

What weep you for then ? said jolly Rcfcin 

I prithee come tell unto me. 
" Oh ! I do weep for my three sons. 

For they are all condemned to die." 





What church have they robbed? said jolly Robin, 

Or parish-priest have they slain ? 
^\'hat maids have they forced against their will 1 

Or with other mens wives have lain I 20 

No church have they robbed, this lady reply'd, 

Nor jiarish-priest have they slain ; 
No maids have they forced against their will, 

Nor with other mens wives have lain. 

What have they done then ? said jolly Robin, 25 

Come tell me most speedily. 
" Oh ! it is for killing the king's fallow deer, 

' That' they are all condemned to die." 

Get you home, get you home, said jolly Robin, 
Get you home most speedily, 30 

And I will unto fail' Nottingham go. 
For the sake of the 'squires all thi-ee. 

Th.en bold Robin Hood for Nottingham goes, 
For Nottingham town goes he, 
I there did he meet with a poor beggar-man, 3o 
He came creepmg along the highway. 

" What news, what news, thou old beggar-man ? 

What news, come tell unto me." [tov.n], 

" there's weeping and waiUng in Nottingham 

For the death of the 'squires all three." 40 

j This beggar man had a coat on his back, 
! 'Twas neither gi'een, yellow, nor red ; 

Bold Robin Hood thought 'twas no disgrace 
To be in the beggar-man's stead. 

« Come, pull off thy coat, thou old beggar-man, 45 

And thou shalt put on mine ; 
And forty good shillings I'll give thee to boot, 

Besides brandy, good beer, ale and wine." 

Bold Robin Hood then unto Nottingham came, 
Unto Nottingham town came he ; 50 

O there did he meet with great master sheriff. 
And likewise the 'squii'cs all three. 

One boon, one boon, says jolly Robin, 

One boon I beg on my knee ; 
That, as for the death of these three 'squires, 55 

Their hangman I may be. 

Soon granted, soon granted, says master sheriff. 

Soon granted unto thee ; 
And ' thou shalt' have all their gay cloathlng. 

" Oh I will have none of their gay cloathlug, 

Nor none of their white mon^y, 
But I'll have three blasts on my bugle-horn, 

That their souls to heaven may flee." 

< Then' Robin Hood mounted the gallows so high, 65 

Where he blew loud and shrill, 
'Till an hundred and ten of Robin Hood's men 

Came marching down the green hill. 


Whose men are these 1 says master sheriff, 
Whose men are they ? tell unto me. 

" O they are mine, but none of thine, 
And are come for the 'squu*es all three." 


Variois Rkading? — K. 28. And. 

V. .'0. yoii shall. 

O take them, o take them, says great master sheriflT, 

take them along with thee ; 
For there's never a man in fail' Nottingham 75 

Can do the Uke of thee. 


Dr. Popusch, among other very curious articles of ancient 
English music, was possessed of a MS. folio, (supposed to 
be still extant,) which, at p. 15, conti^ined a tune intitled 
♦' Robin Hood." See Wards " Lives of the professors of 
Gresham college," 1740, (an interleaved copy, corrected 
and augmented by the author, in the British-museum). 
Robeue Hitde is likewise the name of a dance in "Wedder- 
burus " Coniplainte of Scotland," printed in 1549. The 
following tune is preserved by Oswald, in his " Caledonian 
pocket companion." 





Various Keadi.vgs.— f. G5. \Micn. 
r. 70. come tell. 









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